over the weekend, back to the future When family ties was a star Honorary Oscar statuette awarded — Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — for his philanthropy that raised $1.5 billion for Parkinson’s research. According to the Academy’s website, the award is given to “individuals in the film industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought merit to the industry.”
The award was presented by Woody Harrelson, a longtime friend of Fox’s. After Fox approached the podium, he waited for the applause from the standing crowd to subside.
“Stop it. You rock me,” he joked.
Fox’s emotional and sometimes hilarious acceptance speech began by quoting lines from a Bruce Springsteen song. not surrender at all Summarizes his experience with Parkinson’s disease.
“It’s like my personal anthem,” Fox said. “No retreat, no surrender.”
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He talked about his humble beginnings as a Canadian actor and his high school dropout.
“I dropped out of high school in 11th grade, sold my guitar and moved to LA,” he told an A-list audience that included Tom Hanks, Brendan Fraser, Florence Pugh, Cate Blanchett, and Jennifer Lawrence. he said.
“I told my history teacher my plan. He said, ‘Fox, you’re not going to be cute forever.'” “Maybe enough is enough,” I said. Maybe long enough. It turns out we were both right. “
Fox was just 29 when he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder in 1991. This has caused his motor and speech abilities to become less and less over the years.
“I was told I could only work another 10 years,” Fox said of how his diagnosis came at the height of his acting career.
“The hardest part of my diagnosis was dealing with the certainty of the diagnosis and the uncertainty of the situation,” he continued. The progress was unclear and uncertain.”
Fox, 61, told the audience that he had “entered seven years of denial” while trying to make sense of his illness.
“The boy who left Canada knew he could accomplish anything if he just worked hard and believed, but now he had a difficult task ahead of him,” said Fox. “I didn’t tell most people, and they kept my secret.”
During those seven years he continued to work.he was filming spin city At the time, he knew that he would have to reveal his diagnosis to the public at some point.
So he went to the media and broke the news.
“What happened next was amazing,” he said, getting emotional.
“I thought that everything that had been given to me – my success, my life with[my wife]Tracy, my family – had prepared me for this momentous opportunity and responsibility. It was a gift. ” said Fox, joking that he sometimes refers to Parkinson’s disease as ”a gift to keep on receiving”.
But Fox said the prestigious Oscar wasn’t about him, Michael J. Fox Foundationwas founded in 2000, two years after he made his diagnosis public. According to the Foundation’s website, Raised $1.5 billion Help fund or sponsor many clinical trials, help fund 20 early-stage treatment programs, and recruit 48,000 “citizen scientists” participants to share their lived experience of Parkinson’s disease and helped build the largest dataset and biological sample library in history. disease.
But Fox has been humble about these amazing achievements.
“Nothing I did was heroic,” he said, thanking those who supported his work and the many people working in the field of Parkinson’s disease research.
Finally, he called his wife of 34 years, Tracy Pollan, onto the stage.
“I can’t believe I’ve been standing here this long. It’s a miracle,” Fox joked, checking the heavy statuette. “I can’t walk or carry this. But I will ask Tracy to carry the weight again.
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