If you are a caregiver for a loved one who has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you might be looking for a way to get through to them. Parkinson’s is an incurable condition that is hard to live with due to symptoms like tremors and decreased ability to speak, especially since you know that over time these things will make it harder and harder for you to do the things you like to do.
That is why it is a good idea, at times, to inject a bit of levity into your lives. A list of famous people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease might seem like a “fluff” topic, but in reality, it could be exactly the kind of thing that could help your loved one deal with their diagnosis. They can take courage and inspiration from these people, and they can do it knowing that they are not alone.
Here is a list of five of the most famous celebrities with Parkinson’s, as well as how they dealt with it.
- Michael J. Fox – Perhaps best known for his role as Marty in the Back to the Future series, Michael J. Fox is a beloved star of both television and movies. He was diagnosed in 1991 with young-onset Parkinson’s disease, at the age of thirty. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the disease, and to carry out research that will help find a cure.
- Muhammad Ali – Even the greatest of all time can get hit by this disease. Muhammad Ali, perhaps the most famous and well-loved boxer of all time, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was forty-two years old. Although they can’t prove it definitively, doctors believe that Ali got Parkinson’s as a result of all of the blows he took to the head while in the boxing ring. This diagnosis was particularly devastating for Ali, as he was a very gregarious person, and the illness made it hard for him to speak. However, this didn’t stop him from living life to the fullest. As his wife, Lonni Ali, once said: “He does not stop. He continues to live life and that’s very important.”
- Maurice White – Maurice White, the lead singer of Earth, Wind, and Fire, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the early 2000s. Like Michael J. Fox, he took his diagnosis and turned it into something positive as he worked hard to fund research so that one day doctors and scientists can find a cure.
- Estelle Getty – You might know her best as Sophia, the cranky mother on The Golden Girls tv series, but in real life, she had a reason to be cranky! In 2000, it was revealed that Getty had been living with Parkinson’s for several years. She had had memory problems even during the run of her hit television show, but it wasn’t until later that she found out just what the problem was.
- Charles Schultz – “Good grief!” Few people know that Charles Schultz, the creator, writer, and illustrator of the Peanuts comic strip, also suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He suffered from several other health problems as well, and was forced to stop creating new Peanuts comics in 1999, due to failing health.
Interestingly, some news stories about the celebrities mentioned above claim that their diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease were wrong, but it is difficult to find out for sure.
However, whether you are a caregiver for someone with Parkinson’s or for someone with a similar illness, though, you can help them to find inspiration in people like the ones listed above, who never let their illness keep them from being who they wanted to be for as long as possible.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.