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Michael J. Fox Puts Parkinson's in the Spotlight

On the heels of a strong cover story in the current edition of Newsweek and a powerful segment on ABC's "20-20" program Wednesday night, Parkinson's will remain in the media spotlight for a week or more as celebrity-spokesman Michael J. Fox continues his media tour celebrating the creation of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research. Here's what's in store for viewers and readers over the next several days:

  • Monday through Wednesday, May 22-24
    A three-part series on Good Morning America, ABC's morning show, will feature Mike Fox and his challenge.
  • Monday, May 22
    People magazine will feature Fox on its cover. The article will focus on his vision for the new foundation.
  • Monday, May 22
    Fox will be the guest of David Letterman (CBS).
  • Tuesday, May 23
    Fox appears on the Rosie O'Donnell show (ABC)
  • Tuesday, May 23
    Fox (with Joan Samuelson) will hold a news conference on Capitol Hill at 11 a.m. and later take center stage at the annual Udall awards dinner at the Washington Hilton and Towers Hotel. (Tickets, at $250 - it's a fund-raiser! - are still available; call 707-544-1994 for details).
  • Wednesday, May 24
    Fox's final appearance on Spin City, the NBC series that he created. The show will feature the Foundation's new public service announcement.

Along with all everyone else who is hell-bent on ending this crippling condition for ever, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation salutes and applauds Mike's appearance as our leading spokesman. We are fully aware - as he is - of the power of celebrity in a media culture and of the enormous power it can bring both to raising awareness and understanding of Parkinson's disease and to building public support for the scientific research that alone can end it.

We also understand the marvelous energy that will be created by the association between Mike Fox (the foundation's chairman) with Joan Samuelson (its president), our creative and gifted leader in the area of public advocacy for almost a decade. (For the record, Mike's new foundation is in fact a renamed and reconfigured version of the Parkinson's Action Network (PAN), the organization Joan created).

We also recognize the risk that these developments may - if not properly managed - complicate the ability of the various organizations to work together in our common cause, whether in our work in Washington, our relations with private donors, our financial support of research or our service to the community of people who live with Parkinson's. We at the PDF pledge to do all we can to ensure that this management takes place and we have every confidence that we can count on our respected colleague organizations, including the Fox Foundation, to do likewise.

Source Date: May 22 2000