Michael J. Fox says Parkinson’s battle getting ‘harder’: ‘I’m not gonna be 80’

Michael J. Fox is coming to terms with how difficult his more than 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease has become.

“I’m not gonna be 80,” the “Back to the Future” star, 61, recognizes in a preview for an upcoming episode of “CBS Sunday Morning.”

Journalist Jane Pauley tells Fox in the clip that he has “not squandered” but that his illness will one day “make the call” as to when it’s his time to go.

“Yeah, it’s, it’s banging on the door,” the “Family Ties” alum says in response.

“I’m not gonna lie. It’s gettin’ hard, it’s gettin’ harder. It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher.”

Michael J. Fox on "CBS Sunday Morning."
Michael J. Fox admits in a new interview that his Parkinson’s disease is getting “tougher.”
CBS Sunday Morning

Fox then explains that he had surgery to remove a benign tumor on his spine, but the procedure “messed up” his walking and so he started to “break” other parts of his body, including his arm, elbow, face and hand.

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He adds that the “big killer” of Parkinson’s disease is “falling” and can also be “aspirating food and getting pneumonia,” noting that it’s “all these subtle ways that gets ya.”

“You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s,” the “Spin City” alum concludes. “So – so I’ve been – I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it.”

Fox was diagnosed with the brain disorder at the young age of 29. He has since become a leading advocate for research for the condition, even launching the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000 to help educate the public on and fund studies to fight the disease.

Two years ago, the “Secret of My Success” star shared that he does not fear death.

Michael J. Fox in a wheelchair.
Fox said he has broken several bones from falling due to his Parkinson’s disease.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Michael J. Fox at a red carpet event.
“I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it,” Fox said of his condition.
Getty Images

“I’m really blunt with people about cures. When they ask me if I will be relieved of Parkinson’s in my lifetime, I say, ‘I’m 60 years old, and science is hard. So, no,’” Fox said in an AARP magazine profile in December 2021.

“I am genuinely a happy guy. I don’t have a morbid thought in my head — I don’t fear death. At all.”

Fox’s full interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” airs April 30 at 9 a.m. ET.

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