Lucky Man: A Memoir.
What an ironic title for an autobiography of a man who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Lucky. A term used when things are good. when things just so happen to go well. You wouldn’t think that someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease would call themselves lucky. But that’s exactly what Michael J. Fox thought. In his work, Lucky Man: A Memoir, he recounts the brightest and the darkest parts of his life. From his difficult path to stardom to his struggle with Parkinson’s disease, Michael J. Fox shares how he changed his perspective to see himself as someone blessed, someone lucky. He shares the tale that so many other Canadians know as well as they know themselves. A tale of shifting perspective. A story of resilience. A story where we Canadians reframe the world so that the worst of circumstances becomes our best scenario.
The story of Michael J. Fox begins in 1976 when he first appears on television. As a young teen living on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta, gaining publicity is not an easy job. However, almost ten years later, he finally reaches his big break on a popular sitcom called “Family Ties”. Fame begins to be a part of his life, and not long after, “Family Ties” wins its first, second, then third Emmy Award. Throughout these years, Michael J. Fox becomes familiar with the media, showbiz, and being a celebrity overall. During his time as a celebrity, Michael J. Fox believed that he had done it. He’d worked hard despite his background and made it into the world of showbiz, becoming a huge star. He had faced his midlife crisis, surely everything would go well from now on. When it seemed as if his life could be smooth sailing, a piece of news put a pause to his career. 1991. Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. When he first received the news, “lucky: was definitely not one of the words that came to mind. In fact, he saw no future for himself. He believed he was cursed, the unlucky subject of a cruel joke from fate.
This perspective -however- soon changed when he realized that he was rather lucky to simply be alive. The chances he was able to take in his childhood that led him to successful adulthood. The strength that was given by his fellow actors and supporters. After coming to this understanding, Michael J. Fox felt motivated and filled with passion once again. 1999. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research was built. Still, present today, this foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, as well as ensuring the development and improvement of therapy for those currently battling Parkinson’s. In the year 2000, Michael J. Fox announced his retreat from the public eye. He decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life concentrating on earning money for Parkinson’s Research. This man, who is now 57 years old, changed his views to make the best, most effective outcome from his unfortunates. The practical, benefit-oriented mindset that Michael J. Fox has shown, is a mindset worth making a legacy out of.
Michael J. Fox’s story is one that many people observe with pity, calling it unlucky. Others saw a life of stardom, collapsing into one of sickness and illness. But Michael J. Fox refused to fall into the depths of sorrow. He searched for another view, adapting his perspective degree by degree until he found his truth: he was a lucky man. Michael J. Fox’s story reflects a skill Canadians have always had. An ability to look forward and make the best of any situation. Michael J. Fox took his illness as an opportunity to share his story, spread positive outlooks, and become an inspiration to all of Canada.