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The Hollywood icon Michael J. Fox has been battling Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years now, but he’s refusing to feel sorry for himself and be a victim of his situation. 

‘I Didn’t Have A Choice’

While promoting his documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Fox was asked about how he “mobilized” people to take action against Parkinson’s.

“I didn’t have a choice,” the former Back To The Future star told People Magazine. “This is it. I have to give everything I have, and it’s not lip service. I show up and do the best I can.”

“Pity is a benign form of abuse,” he added. “I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that. There is stuff to be learned from this, so let’s do that and move on.”

Fox went on to say that he decided to make this documentary as a way to give back to the fans who have been so loyal to him over the years.

“My fans have basically given me my life,” he explained. “I wanted to give these people who have done so much for me my time and gratitude. It was great for me to hear from all of you.”

Related: Michael J. Fox Gives Sad Update About His Health After Battling Parkinson’s For Over 30 Years

Fox Has ‘A Great Life’

Turning to the film’s director Davis Guggenheim, Fox said, “Parkinson’s sucks, but it’s a great life, so thank you for it.”

“I have no regrets,” he continued, referring to continuing to work after being diagnosed in 1991 at the age of 29. “You do what you have to do, but you do not want to kill your self. And that’s when I stopped.”

Fox previously talked to Entertainment Tonight about why he decided to go public with his diagnosis, revealing that his decision came down to the paparazzi. 

“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 remembered in the 2021 interview. “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.”

“It was a great surprise to me that people responded the way they responded,” he 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.”

Related: Michael J. Fox Shares Hug With ‘Back To The Future’ Co-Star Christopher Lloyd As They Reunite 37 Years After The Film’s Release

Fox’s Foundation And Marriage

Fox launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, and it has since raised over $1.5 billion for Parkinson’s research. Through this entire journey, Fox has been supported by his wife Tracy Pollan, who he’s been married to for 33 years. 

“We understand each other. And if you go through something like I am going through, just have someone that you are going to look at and know that they know [what you’re dealing with],” Fox previously said. “She is my best friend and she is still sexy as hell as she is great.”

Fox is truly an inspiration for turning a horrible diagnosis into something positive for the world. We can’t wait to find out more about his story when his documentary is released to the masses in May!