Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I read Michael J. Fox's book Lucky Man because I like handsome short men...have you met my partner  John? And I wanted to learn about the trial and tribulations he had to endure with being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991. 

I'm fascinated by people who have the courage to tell their personal story that deals with some of the most intimate and difficult aspects of their life. Fox was dealt a shitty hand and I believe there is something to be learned from how he played his cards. 

Fox, through his very successful foundation, has relentlessly worked to get politicians to approve stem cell research in this country. We all received great news earlier this year when President Obama unequivocally approved funding for stem cell research with the hope scientists will find a cure for a number of illnesses and diseases like Parkinson's.

Fox recently published Always Looking Up, a memoir covering his most recent discoveries in his battles with politics, coming to terms with religion and discusses how his family and friends have stood by him when times were tough. 

I selfishly bought the book for John as a part of his birthday present in April, hoping he would read it quickly so I could get my hands on it. He ended up passing on it for other books so I grabbed it earlier this summer while I was traveling -  I enjoyed it so much I read it in one weekend. He doesn't know what he missed!  

Optimism is something I have never been short of as I tend to look at the positive side of almost any bad situation. I'm not sure how I would react having to go through the struggles Fox has to go through in his life. His book has inspired me to not only be thankful for the great blessing I have received but reminds me that fate works in mysterious ways and I should be happy with every day I'm allowed to live on this planet.

Always Looking Up explores the optimism Fox shows in his everyday life, from being positive while trying not to shake when giving a speech at his son's bar mitzvah or when he stayed very clam in dealing with Rush Limbaugh's horrible antics during political debates in 2004 - when Limbaugh stated Fox was using his illness to gain sympathy votes for pro stem cell research candidates he was backing.  

Fox is a strong story teller who uses detailed stories to explain why he always keeps positive and ultimately explains why he has been so successful in raising money for his foundation. 

This man is someone we can all look to as an example if something unexpectedly disastrous happens in life. 

More importantly, after reading his book, I felt empowered to work hard for what I believe in and keep a positive outlook no matter how difficult life can be, which will help in the often long journey it takes to achieve ones mission in life.  

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