Michael J. Fox Says He Only Publicly Revealed Parkinson’s Diagnosis After Bullying from Paparazzi

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox

Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Michael J. Fox is reflecting on the stress he felt to disclose his well being situation to the world and the way it surprisingly turned a “great opportunity.”

The 60-year-old Emmy-winning actor lately spoke with Entertainment Tonight and mentioned how his remedy from the paparazzi performed a task in his determination to share publicly — a number of years after his prognosis — that he was living with Parkinson’s illness.

“It was seven or eight years after I had been diagnosed … [and] the paparazzi and stuff, they would stand outside my apartment and heckle at me, like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ ” Fox recalled. “I said, ‘I can’t be making my neighbors deal with this,’ so I came out, and it was great. It was a great thing.”

RELATED: Michael J. Fox Opens Up About His Health, Life with Tracy Pollan: ‘I’m in a Really Good Groove’

Fox was first recognized with Parkinson’s, a long-term degenerative dysfunction of the central nervous system, in 1991 and later went public along with his prognosis in 1998. Despite feeling stress to disclose his situation, the previous Back to the Future star mentioned he used his expertise as a chance to show others concerning the illness.

“It was a great surprise to me that people responded the way they responded,” Fox continued. “They responded with interest, in the desire to find an answer to the disease, and then I saw that as a great opportunity. I didn’t get put in this position to squander it.”

Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Michael J. Fox

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On Saturday, Fox will rejoice 20 years of his Michael J. Fox Foundation with a star-studded profit, that includes performances by Sting and Brad Paisley.

With the Foundation, which has raised over $1 billion to this point for Parkinson’s analysis, “we are loading up all the cannons we can and pointing them at the target,” Fox instructed PEOPLE earlier this week. “One of them will fire and it will happen. The disease is a problem that will be there until you solve it. But we’re hopeful.”

RELATED: Michael J. Fox on Defying Stereotypes with His Good Wife Role: ‘Handicapped People Can Be Jerks’

Physically nowadays, “I’m in a really good groove,” mentioned Fox. “Every day is different. The circle [of what I can do] gets smaller. But I’m happy I’ve found things in the middle of the circle that can’t be touched, like my family and the time I have with them.”

The actor and his spouse Tracy Pollan, who tied the knot in 1988, share 4 kids — Esmé, 19, Aquinnah and Schuyler, 26, and Sam, 32. He mentioned that regardless of his youngsters being grown up, their household stays nearer than ever.

“I have a great family,” Fox shared. “My kids are spectacular and they apply their energy to change and making things better. You should see our family text chain. It goes on forever!”

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