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After year of multiple broken bones, Michael J. Fox says he has one mission: "Don't fall down"

Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd hug onstage
Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd share hug onstage 00:36

Michael J. Fox has revealed new details about a tumultuous year of health problems as he continues to battle Parkinson's disease. In a cover story interview for People Magazine, Fox shared that the past year came with a personal loss and a series of broken bones. 

Known for his roles as Alex Keaton in the sitcom "Family Ties" and Marty McFly in the "Back to the Future" franchise, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 when he was 29 years old. He went public with his diagnosis seven years later and has been vocal and active in raising awareness about the illness ever since. He started the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, which has since become "the world's largest non-profit funder of Parkinson's drug development," according to the foundation's website. 

In his 2020 memoir "No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality," Fox, now 61, said 2018 was the worst year of his life, according to People Magazine, as he had a tumor removed in a spinal-cord surgery and broke his left arm. But this past year, he told People, "got worse." 

His mom, Phyllis, died in September and the past months have been filled with a series of broken bones and injuries.  

"I broke my cheek, then my hand, then my shoulder, had a replacement shoulder put in and broke my [right] arm, then I broke my elbow," he said. "I'm 61 years old, and I'm feeling it a little bit more." 

When he broke his hand, he said he also got an infection after the surgery. Not being able to use his hand hindered his ability to balance himself, leading to more falls and injuries, he said. 

But now, he said, "I'm coming through where the last of my injuries are healing up; my arm is feeling good." 

"The whole mission is: 'Don't fall down,'" he told People. "So whatever works to not fall down, whether it's a walker or a wheelchair, a cane, a guy with a belt around my waist holding onto it – I use all those tools." 

And that mission is going well. Just weeks ago, Fox reunited with his "Back to the Future" co-star Christopher Lloyd at New York Comic Con – and successfully stood and walked to greet him. He was able to do so mostly unassisted. 

"I'm just getting to where I'm walking steadily again," Fox told People. "I think it's cool to walk by myself. It is. It's fantastic." 

Despite the tumult of the past year, Fox told the magazine that he's still finding joy. 

"It's been a struggle, but I'm happy," he told People. "I say that because I hope on some level people can find happiness in spite of what they're going through." 

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