In 1991, Michael J. Fox, Canadian-American actor, author, producer, and activist extraordinaire, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Seven years later, Fox committed himself to the cause: to find a cure. In search of new research opportunities, he created The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000. It has become one of the biggest nonprofit funder of drug development in the world; the New York Times describes it as “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world.”
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Named after James Parkinson, who published the first detailed description of the disease, is a degenerative neurological disorder which results from the loss of cells in different areas of the brain. The result of this damage is that Dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for coordinating movement, isn’t produced as needed, which results in the inability to control one’s movements. The direct cause of this disease isn’t known yet, but researchers suspect both genetic and environmental causes.
Who is affected by PD?
One in 100 people over the age of 60 are diagnosed with PD. Onset can occur as early as 18. Furthermore, the rate of misdiagnosis is high, so the number of people living with Parkinson’s can be in the millions worldwide.
What Does the Michael J Fox Foundation Do?
Through aggressively funded research, this foundation looks to provide patients with better drugs and treatments to slow, stop, or reverse PD and its symptoms as well as finding a cure. What makes the MJF Foundation different is that instead of having an external board or set of advisors making all the decisions, they rely on in-house trained PhDs and business-trained project managers. Moreover, Michael J Fox remains an inspiration for anyone suffering from PD.
Why Do We Partner with Them?
The wonderful work the MJF Foundation is doing to find a cure and a better treatment gives us hope for a Parkinson-free future. We have dedicated our lives to bring awareness and raise money for a cure as well, so it seems only natural we work with “the most credible voice.” We look to Michael J. Fox and his team for hope, and we wish that our combined efforts bring us one step closer to ending Parkinson’s disease once and for all. Please visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s website to learn how you can help us defeat PD.