Sunday, March 11, 2007

Book # 10 Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

I bought this book but actually ended up listening to the audio version because it was read by Michael J. Fox himself, and I always try to listen to audio if the book is read by the author.

Lucky Man taught me a lot. I learned a lot about an actor I grew up watching, the behind the scenes struggles that he was going through while I was curled up with a bowl of popcorn watching Family Ties week after week. I also learned a lot about a disease I knew very little about: Parkinson's Disease.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's years ago, and his struggles with coming to terms with his illness and trying to maintain his marriage, his career, and his actual life made me appreciate the small trials I go through on a daily basis. I would listen to him in the morning on my way to work to remind myself what a privilege it is to just be able to "get up and go to work" without having to time medications, hide an illness from people, and live a life of acting on all levels.

Fox took a situation that could have destroyed his whole life and he used it to make his life, and the lives of others, better. But he didn't do it overnight, and that's a really important lesson for people, for me, to learn. He spent a lot of years in denial, pretending he wasn't sick, and making life harder for himself until he was ready to face what path he was on. It's all a part of the journey, and he takes time to explain that he needed to go through what he did in order to become the person he is now.

His foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, is full of amazing information, stories, ways to donate time/money, and inspirational goal setting and achieving towards a cure for Parkinson's. Fox's stance is that for Parkinson's, unlike many other diseases, a cure is in sight, science has a means to create a cure, they just need enough money to devote to research to complete it.

Lucky Man is an incredibly inspirational book told by one of my childhood heroes. I was delighted to read his words and realize that he is the real deal, opposed to some of our celebrities today who seemingly have zero appreciation for anything but other than themselves.

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