Some Of Our High Profile Supporters
Most recognisable from Sky Sports’ live darts coverage, Dave was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011. In 2016, Dave became our Champion of Walking and has since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds through corporate partnerships and personal walking challenges.
Best known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Luther, actor Enzo Cilenti has supported Parkinson’s UK since 2013, and is our Champion of Cycling. In 2015 he took on the legendary Mont Ventoux and in 2018 completed Ride Across Britain – both on a tandem, with his father who has Parkinson’s.
Comedian Rob Deering is a keen marathon runner and Parkinson’s UK’s Champion of Running. Inspired by his father who has Parkinson’s, Rob does a number of running events for us every year and in 2018 passed his £100,000 lifetime fundraising target.
Both Jane’s father and uncle lived with Parkinson’s for many years, inspiring her to support our work and help us to increase understanding of the condition. Jane has been a BBC journalist for more than 20 years and is currently a presenter for BBC News at One, Six and Ten.
Former Radio 1 DJ and Top of the Pops presenter David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013. Since speaking publicly about his diagnosis in January 2018, he’s attended numerous charity events, inspired a beneficiary dinner at Crystal Palace FC, as well as the production of a charity single.
- Reverend Richard Coles
Celebrities Whove Been Diagnosed With Parkinsons Disease
After getting a life-changing Parkinsons disease diagnosis, it can be comforting to find out who else has the same diagnosis. While its important to have a friend, family member or acquaintance to talk to in person who knows exactly what youre going through. Knowing one of your favorite public figures is experiencing similar symptoms as you can also help you feel less alone. These famous folks have spoken out about their condition, bringing awareness and visibility to conditions the general population might not know much about, if anything at all.
Parkinsons disease is a chronic, progressive neurological condition caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls movement. As a result, the nerve cells cannot produce dopamine, a chemical that helps coordinate movement. Hallmark symptoms include shaking in limbs when the limbs are at rest slowness of movement, where you cannot move your body as fast as you would like and rigidity, or stiffness in the body. Parkinsons also causes a number of symptoms unrelated to movement, including digestive issues, loss of smell, chronic pain, depression and blood pressure issues.
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Celebrity And High Profile Supporters
Our celebrity supporters use their voice and time to make a difference to the lives of people with Parkinsons.
Were delighted to have such a passionate and dedicated network of supporters from the fields of sport, entertainment and the arts.
Our high profile supporters include our President, , and our Patron, HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.
You can get in touch with our VIP team by emailing .
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Living And Working With Parkinson’s Disease
Though he would not share the news with the public for another seven years, Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at 29. Upon disclosing his condition in 1998, he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson’s research. Fox announced his retirement from “Spin City” in January 2000, effective upon the completion of his fourth season and 100th episode. Expressing pride in the show, its talented cast, writers and creative team, he explained that new priorities made this the right time to step away from the demands of a weekly series. Later that year he launched The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which the New York Times has called “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world.” Today the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s drug development, the Foundation has galvanized the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease . Fox is widely admired for his tireless work as a patient advocate.
In 2011, he guest-starred in “Larry Versus Michael J. Fox,” the season-eight finale of Larry David’s acclaimed HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” In spring 2009, he portrayed embittered, drug-addicted Dwight in Denis Leary’s hit FX Network drama “Rescue Me,” a role that earned him his fifth Emmy award. His 2006 recurring guest role in the ABC legal drama “Boston Legal” was nominated for an Emmy, and he appeared as Dr. Kevin Casey in the then-NBC series “Scrubs” in 2004.
Neil Gemstone: Walking From Touring Due To Parkinsons
Singer Neil Gemstone announced on The month of january 22, 2018, he was retiring from touring due to a recent Parkinsons diagnosis. This news came throughout his 50th anniversary tour, as Gemstone announced he would need to cancel approaching concert dates in New zealand and australia. Inside a statement on his official website, he stated, It is by using great reluctance and disappointment which i announce my retirement from concert touring. Ive been so honored to create my shows towards the public within the last half a century.Inches
Gemstone reassured fans he would continue writing and recording music, but hed not perform before live audiences later on. His hits through the years have incorporated Girl, You Will Be a Lady Soon, Sweet Caroline, Cracklin Rosie, Song Sang Blue, and Red, Dark Wine.
Gemstone was awarded with a Rock n roll Hall of Fame this year and received an eternity Achievement Award in the 2018 Grammy Awards.
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Michael J Fox Reflects 30 Years After Parkinson’s Diagnosis: I Still Am Mr Optimist
In 1991, there were few bigger names in show business than Michael J. Fox. Millions around the world knew him for his work in the “Back to the Future” films, and the TV series “Family Ties.” But away from the success and celebrity of Hollywood, he was about the begin the biggest fight of his life.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he was 29 years old. He was newly married to his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, who he met on the set of “Family Ties,” in the 1980s.
“So very early in the marriage she got this dumped on her. And the moment that I told her I was realizing was the last time we cried about it together. We haven’t cried about Parkinson’s since. We’ve just dealt with it and lived our lives. But we cried about it that first time,” Fox recalled to “CBS Mornings” co-host Nate Burleson.
Fox said the couple didn’t know what Parkinson’s meant and were about to enter uncharted territory.
“We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know what would happen. We didn’t know. You know, no one could say when it would have more effects. More symptoms than what I had, which was a twitch, twitching pinkie,” said Fox. “But they just said it was coming.”
More than two decades later and after several acting jobs that allowed him to work without hiding his condition, the 60-year-old is now retired from acting.
Neil Diamond And 6 Other Famous People With Parkinsons Disease
On 22 January 2018 there were reports that the music legend Neil Diamond had retired from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease.
According to HealthDay News, the 76-year-old singer apologised to fans who bought tickets for the last leg of his 50th anniversary tour.
“The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large-scale basis,” he explained.
Parkinsons disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement and causes trembling in the arms, hands, legs and jaw. It is caused when certain nerve cells die or become impaired. It affects around one in 100 people older than sixty.
While the symptoms can be controlled, there is nothing that can stop the disease from progressing.
Although the symptoms can be dramatically reduced, Parkinsons disease can be challenging to live with as it doesnt only cause difficulty of movement and cognitive skills, but can lead to depression, sleep problems, speech problems and pain.
The singer of hits like Sweet Caroline and Cracklin Rosie is not the only celeb affected by the illness. Here are six other famous people who are or were affected by Parkinsons.
1. George H.W. Bush
2. Michael J. Fox
3. Billy Connolly
This Scottish comedian announced in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and prostate cancer on the same day. Luckily, his sense of humour is helping him laugh about the situation and he often makes fun of his symptoms during shows.
4. Charles M. Schulz
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Myth : Parkinsons Disease Is Fatal
Fact: Although a diagnosis of Parkinsons is devastating, it is not as some people may still believe a death sentence. Parkinsons disease is not a direct killer, like stroke or heart attack. That said, much depends on the quality of your care, both from your medical team and yourself.
As the disease progresses, you may become more vulnerable to falls, which can be dangerous. Thats why exercise and physical therapy are so important.
Infection is another problem. In later stages of Parkinsons, people often miss those signals and may not notice somethings up until its too late. That can be, literally, a killer so be sure to stay up to date with checkups.
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Brian Grant: Staying Positive With Parkinsons
Brian Grant spent 12 seasons as a National Basketball Association player, playing for the Sacramento Kings, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. As an NBA player, he was known for his positive team commitment as well as his work with disadvantaged children. According to an interview with ESPN, he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinsons disease in January 2009, following his retirement from professional basketball. He went on to found the Brian Grant Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring those living with Parkinsons disease to include exercise as medicine.
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Linda Ronstadt: Parkinsons Took Her Voice But Not Her Spirit
Known for her rich soprano vocals as the lead singer of the 1960s band the Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt opened up about her Parkinsons disease diagnosis to AARP The Magazine in 2013. After two very bad tick bites in the 1980s, Ronstadt says her health never fully recovered but she didnt visit a neurologist until she was no longer able to sing.
I didnt know why I couldnt sing all I knew was that it was muscular or mechanical. Then when I was diagnosed with Parkinsons, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinsons disease. No matter how hard you try. And in my case, I cant sing a note, she told AARP.
Brian Grant: Staying Positive With Parkinson’s
Brian Grant spent 12 seasons as a National Basketball Association player, playing for the Sacramento Kings, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. As an NBA player, he was known for his positive team commitment as well as his work with disadvantaged children. According to an interview with ESPN, he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in January 2009, following his retirement from professional basketball. He went on to found the Brian Grant Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring those living with Parkinson’s disease to include exercise as medicine.
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Michael Richard Clifford: Parkinson’s In Space
Michael Richard “Rich” Clifford began his career as a NASA astronaut in 1990. He’s since made three space flights, accumulating 665 hours orbiting Earth. Though diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1994, he continued to fly. Clifford was 42 and in apparent good health when he discovered his Parkinson’s disease, signaled at first by difficulty moving his right arm and hand correctly. In 2012, the American Academy of Neurology gave him the Public Leadership in Neurology Award for increasing awareness of Parkinson’s disease and for encouraging people living with Parkinson’s to continue to pursue their dreams.
Everyone with PD handles it differently, said Clifford in an interview with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Dont let it get in the way of living. Life is too good. Remember, keep going the skys the limit.
Freddie Roach: Boxing Trainer With Parkinson’s
Frederick “Freddie” Roach is a boxing trainer and former professional boxer. Bryant Gumbel included his story in the HBO series Real Sports, detailing Roach’s efforts to control his Parkinson’s disease with medication and continued work as a trainer. Roach, who began to show Parkinsons symptoms over 20 years ago, trains world-famous boxers at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, which he owns. His client list has included the likes of Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao, Mark Wahlberg, and Georges St. Pierre.
But having Parkinson’s hasn’t dimmed his commitment to boxing, even as it’s caused his speech to slur and his left arm to shake. “I’m in the gym every day it’s part of life. Instead of taking a vacation, I like what I do. My vacations are right here,” Roach said in a 2015 CBS interview.
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Billy Connolly: Humor With Parkinson’s
Scottish stand-up comedian and actor Billy Connolly continued on with his career after his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2013 at age 70. Widely beloved for his off-the-cuff and profanity-laden comedy style, Connolly first found out he had Parkinson’s during a chance meeting in a hotel lobby with a doctor who recognized his symptoms as early signs of the neurological disease. However, his diagnosis didnt deter him, and he continued to perform onstage and on-screen until finally retiring from live performances in 2018.
Muhammad Ali Struggle With Parkinsons Disease
If theres one name thatthe world will never forget, its that of the greatest boxer of all time:Muhammad Ali. The Olympic gold medal winner was known as a living legend. Hedefeated a long list of some of the most famous boxers in history includingGeorge Foreman and Joe Frazier.
Ali is still historys only three-time world heavyweight champion to date. He devoted his time outside the boxing ring by using his fame for influence.
He actively campaignedfor cultural pride among African Americans and, after his diagnosis, spent thelast thirty years of his life to raising awareness about the effects ofParkinsons disease to the public.
Muhammad Ali wasdiagnosed with PD in the year 1984. Just three years earlier, the legendaryboxer had declared his retirement from boxing. During the next 32 years of hislife, Ali remained one of the most renowned people to battle the condition.
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He used his publicplatform to spread awareness and advocated heavily for more government fundingtowards research. As well as donating his own royalties to research projects,Ali began an annual Celebrity Fight Night to raise money for research.
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Michael J Fox: Parkinson’s Champion For A Cure
Michael J. Fox is among the most well-known people living with Parkinson’s disease. Many remember him as the fresh-faced young star of the 1980s TV comedy hit Family Ties and the popular Back to the Future movies. Though most people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed between ages 40 and 60, Fox was diagnosed at age 30 but his diagnosis didnt slow him down.
He shared his young-onset Parkinson’s disease diagnosis with the world in 1998 and, two years later, founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Fox is committed to helping the foundation build Parkinson’s disease awareness and raise funds for research into prevention, treatment, and a cure. In addition to his advocacy work, hes still a working actor some more recent roles have included characters with Parkinson’s in the TV shows The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
“As long as I play a guy with Parkinson’s, I can do anything,” he joked in a 2013 AARP interview.
Through His Eponymous Foundation The Famed Actor
As Marty McFly, he took us Back to the Future. Now, through his work leading The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research , actor and activist Michael J. Fox is helping to usher in a new future for people with one filled with hope. I know without fail that we are getting closerday by day, year by yearto the breakthroughs that will make finding a cure inevitable, Fox tells Neurology Now. A lot of work lies ahead of us. But this is a responsibility we have, and we want people to know someone is trying to get this work done.
Parkinsons disease is a central nervous system disorder in which the brain has difficulty controlling the movements of the body. In people with PD, the brain cells that make dopamine dont function normally, which causes trouble with body movement. Some of the classic symptoms of the disease are rigidity, stiffness, stooped or forward-leaning posture, and shuffling gait, says J. William Langston, M.D., the founder, chief executive officer , and scientific director of The Parkinsons Institute in Sunnyvale, CA. Like over one million Americans, Michael J. Fox has PD.
Called the most credible voice on Parkinsons disease research in the world by The New York Times, MJFF is the worlds largest private funder of PD research, having contributed more than $270 million toward their goal of finding a cure. Along the way, the organization has helped improve the way research is funded and conducted.
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