Thursday night, Michae J. Fox returned to television with a new show. Over 2,000 people hosted premier parties to welcome Michael back, and I was one of them.
Diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s at the age of 29, Michael has lived with this disease for two decades. He has been not only an inspiration to those of us living with Parkinson’s, but he has provided a beacon of hope for us as well with the launching of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. On the website www.michaeljfox.org/, you can Join Team Fox and host or take part in fundraisers, sign up to volunteer for clinical trials (many of which fail to be conducted due to lack of volunteers) apply for a grant, have your questions about Parkinson’s answered and learn about the Foundation’s purpose and how they are helping the research teams to find a cure.
Michael inspires me with his can do attitude and the pragmatic way he has handled the challenges of life with Parkinson’s. One of my favorite Fox quotes is: Whatever big dream is driving you, you only can’t if you don’t. Michael is right. You can do anything, if you just give it a try, but you’ll never know if you don’t.
I also like the response Michael gives his kids if they have some minor thing to complain about. Michael had learned that a lady, trapped in a tree during one of those tsunamis that have occurred in recent years, actually gave birth to her baby in the tree and waited there until help arrived. So when the kids come in with their minor complaints, Michael says, “A lady had a baby in a tree. What’ve you got?”
We can always look around and find people struggling with something far worse than we are. So instead of whining and complaining, celebrate the positives, look for the silver lining (or at least the humor) and don’t forget to follow your dreams. The premier party was all about optimism and Michael J. Fox is the poster boy for that!
The new show is a magical mix of humor and poignancy. It deals with the challenges of living with Parkinson’s with a heartfelt humor, and there were moments in the show when the message touched my soul. In one scene, Mike’s wife questions his apparent attraction to a woman who moved into their building and Mike answers that it wasn’t so much that he was attracted to her, but that she was attracted to him, that after all he had been through, he could still be attractive to someone despite the Parkinson’s. That is one of the fears all of us with chronic diseases have – that people will see only the disease, and miss all the other wonderful things about us. Scenes like these make the show so much more than a typical sitcom. and I applaud those who write for the show and those who assembled the excellent cast. Well done!
I had a small gathering of friends and family for my premier party, but we had a good time. The laughs were fun to share, as was the food and conversation. We all agreed that the show was entertaining and spot on, and I think everyone left with their spirits lifted.
I look forward to the next episode. In the meantime i will focus on the can do an d the big dream and put my pesky disease in its place right at the back of the line.
After all, a lady had a baby in a tree… what’ve I got?
Here are a few pictures from our party:
Yum! Goobers and rasinets!