Two of Canada’s brightest stars have come together in the battle against Parkinson’s disease. Ryan Reynolds, who will be attending the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s annual gala in New York on Saturday (Nov. 29), stopped by the Today show this week to discuss how the degenerative disease has impacted his life.
In a touching, joint interview with Michael J. Fox, Ryan opened up about his father’s struggle with Parkinson’s and how his family has learned to cope.
“[Parkinson’s has] kind of galvanized [our family] to seek resources,” explained The Green Lantern star. “For us, in a strange way, it’s really kind of brought us all together.”
Michael, too, spoke candidly about his personal crusade. Diagnosed at age 30, the 53-year-old actor talked about what it’s like to be known as the public face of Parkinson’s. “It’s been from the onset a tremendous opportunity and privilege,” he said.
After keeping his diagnosis a secret for seven years – “There’s a shame in illness,” explained Michael – the Back to the Future actor finally decided to go public with his illness in 1998, forming the Michael J. Fox foundation.
Ten years later, Ryan joined the foundation in 2008 and is now on the organization’s board of directors. The 38-year-old actor, who recently joined Twitter, sent his first tweet this week – a retweet from @MichaeJFoxorg, which links out to the interview.