In late January, Ozzy Osbourne revealed on Good Morning America that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Ozzy joins a growing list of celebrities using their platform to create awareness around the effects of Parkinson’s. Why is this significant? Well, at the very least, there can be a greater understanding that PD knows no specific income bracket, race, or gender. More importantly, it helps individuals diagnosed feel that they are not alone. Here are some of the celebrities with Parkinson’s.
Michael J. Fox
Actor Michael J. Fox has been a voice for PD since his diagnosis in 1991. Openly admitting that the ebb and flow of his symptoms can get to him, he has been public about his journey. He launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, with a promise to accelerate the next generation of Parkinson’s disease (PD) treatments.
Like many with PD, singer Linda Ronstadt was unaware of her PD and was attributing her shaky voice to Lyme disease, and shaking hands to prior shoulder surgery. In an interview with AARP, she recalls It never occurred to her to go to a neurologist until she lost her ability to sing. She finally received the diagnosis of Parkinson’s in 2012.
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson received the diagnosis PD in 2017 after his family, and he noticed changes in the three years prior. His father, Noah Robinson, passed away in 1997 due to complications from Parkinson’s. The former congressman has made lifestyle changes and attends physical therapy to help manage his PD.
The “M*A*S*H” TV series actor, Alan Alda isn’t letting his 2015 PD diagnosis slow him down. In a CBS This Morning interview, he revealed he was prompted to get tested after reading an article about how a symptom of Parkinson’s is acting out dreams. Alda looks at the symptoms of PD as a challenge rather than a barrier. Although he may have to do it differently, his determination keeps him moving.
To learn more about how you can get involved in upcoming Parkinson’s disease studies at NPRC, call (239) 939-7777, or click here.