When you think of Michael J. Fox, what first comes to mind? Is it Alex P. Keaton from “Family Ties?” Marty McFly from “Back to the Future?” Maybe his characters from “Teen Wolf”, “Spin City” or “The Good Wife?”
I think his legacy will be the work that he’s doing in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease.
Fox was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, when he was just thirty years old. He started a foundation to raise money to research a cure for Parkinson’s. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised more than $800, 000,000 to lead the fight against the disease.
Last Saturday night was the Fox Foundation’s annual “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s ” benefit event in New York City. Mike brought out the big musical guns for the show. Helping out were Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Steve Winwood and Joan Jett.
I’ve been following Winwood since 1966, when he was a member of the Spencer Davis Band. He’s been on the top five list of my favorite musicians since then. I’ve stuck with him throughout his career as a member of the bands Traffic and Blind Faith plus a lengthy solo career. His albums “John Barleycorn Must Die”, “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” and “Back in the High Life” are among my favorites and still get played regularly.
To see him show up and raise money for a disease that has affected me for the last six years is a “I’m not crying/you are” moment. It gets you in all the feels.
One of the highlights of the fundraiser was Jett and Fox joining in with Steve on his classic song “Gimme Some Lovin’.”
This years event raised $4.8 million. More than 600,000 people will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease this year. Hopefully the money raised will get them closer to a cure.
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