It’s the one fight Muhammad Ali couldn’t win: the greatest boxer of all time succumbed to Parkinson’s disease late last week after a three-decade bout.
The condition has no cure, so beating Parkinson’s for the late boxing champ is the best way to honour him, according to actor Michael J. Fox.
Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991, and is now calling for a renewed commitment to research in honor of Ali’s fortitude. He offered his opinion to CNN, written with Michael J. Fox Foundation CEO Todd Sherer.
“Curing Parkinson’s disease once seemed impossible. But momentum is at last on our side. We believe without fail that cures are within reach if we dare to do more, not less,” they wrote.
“Muhammad Ali showed us what it means to have the heart of a champion. Now is our chance to honor him by finishing the fight he could not.”
The 74-year-old Ali was a very active contributor to Fox’s foundation, created to find a cure for the progressive brain disease.
“Countless people living with Parkinson’s, including one of the authors of this piece, looked up to Ali as a role model of equanimity and fearlessness in the face of Parkinson’s degeneration,” the op-ed says.
People with Parkinson’s slowly causes the dopamine neurons found in the brain to deteriorate and die, which affects movement that progressively worsens over time.