Actor and author Michael J. Fox lives with Parkinson’s Disease. He was diagnosed in 1991 with early onset PD. Since that time, he has written four novels about his life with PD. More important, in 2000, he founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research cures for this yet-uncurable disease. His foundation provides support for both people with Parkinson’s and for the caregiver. Thanks to this foundation, a whole heck of a lot of money is going into research about the disease.
I pay particular attention to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and to the founder himself, because my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009. I asked my husband once if it bothers him to read Fox’s books or see him on television. He gave a resounding no, saying instead the man inspires him. I find that to be amazing.
No Time Like the Future is Fox’s fourth book. I will admit that I have not read the other three. I was coaxed into reading this particular book, and was ever-so-glad that I did. Fox’s writing is funny and smart and self-deprecating. He doesn’t wallow in his sorrows, but instead, is forthright about his condition and how he and his family live and cope with the disease.
No Time Like the Future tackles an unrelated issue that the actor recently went through, that being a spinal cord issue requiring very risky surgery. His recovery was obviously impacted by the fact that he experiences the symptoms of PD, and his ability to work so hard to recover is inspiring.
His story gave me perspective and made me laugh at the same time. I frequently read parts out loud to my husband, saying, “Don’t feel bad. Michael J. Fox is going through the same things you are!”
Fox, of course, has the advantage of wealth and fame. As such, he is able to experiences that we will never obtain. But I didn’t find that offputting at all. Instead, I was reminded that pushing forward, and even more important, laughing at your own foibles, is critical in facing this disease.
I think the book would be interesting to anyone who knows a person with PD. I also, however, think it is just a well-written and funny story.