My father used to say, "There are two kinds of people in the world: the givers and the takers. The takers sometimes eat better, but the givers always sleep better."
The Takers are easy to spot, but I'm always on the lookout for the Givers, because they give me hope. Michael J. Fox is a Giver.
Michael was just 30 years old when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. By then an acclaimed, award-winning star of both television and movies, Michael was thunderstruck by the discovery of his illness, and his ever worsening symptoms would take the ultimate toll: In 2000, he semi-retired from acting, a career that had brought so many blessings to him and his family.
But Michael did not permit the ravages of a disease to extinguish his spirit. Instead, he decided to fight back rather than lay back. One of the ways he did this was to build the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Celebrating its 12th year, the foundation has funded more than $280 million in aggressively pursued research, ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's -- and with the hope of eradicating the disease once and for all.