When American actor Michael J. Fox learned that he had Parkinson’s disease, he vowed to keep working until he could no longer do so. In interviews after his announcement, he admitted that he made that promise to himself after seeing how champion boxer Muhammad Ali continued his fight after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the 1980s. Ali lived with the disease for more than three decades and watched as it stripped him of his ability to talk and to later walk independently. Not wanting people to define him by his condition, Ali became a strong advocate for Parkinson’s awareness and inspired seniors and their Colorado Springs home caregivers to live gracefully with the disease.
Ali kept his mind sharp and referred to the teachings of Islam to stay positive and keep moving forward. He often said that the creator and his religion allowed him to live the long and exciting life he led. In later interviews, Ali even stated that he believed Parkinson’s was just another test that God sent him to challenge him. This challenge pushed Ali to become one of the biggest advocates for Parkinson’s research and funding in the country.
Though he was light on his feet and faster than almost any other boxer around, he watched as Parkinson’s took away his ability to move around the ring and to even communicate effectively with his loved ones. Even the loss of his motor skills didn’t stop him from speaking his mind. In 1998, Ali teamed up with Michael J. Fox to meet with the U.S. Congress and petition for further funding for Parkinson’s research. He went on to open the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, AZ, to offer treatment and support to others living with the disease. The courage that Muhammad Ali had in the face of this disease is proof that anyone can stand up and fight back.
Despite the complications that come with Parkinson’s, it’s important for family caregivers to remember that help is available. Have your loved one age gracefully at home with help from Home Care Assistance of Colorado Springs. We are a reliable home care agency in Colorado Springs that customizes care plans for seniors to help them manage daily tasks such as mobility training, personal care, prescription pick-ups, and more. Call (719) 822-1229 today to learn more about our services and set up a complimentary consultation.