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Michael J. Fox Seeks Health $$$

With scientsts saying a cure for Parkinson's Disease may be close, victims, including actor Michael J. Fox, asked Congress Tuesday for more research money, reports CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss.

"The war against Parkinson's is a winnable war and I have resolved to play a role in that victory," declared the actor.

Fox, whose tremors were apparent as he testified at the Senate hearing, said that without a cure, his disease will continue to worsen.

"But with your help, if we all do everything we can to eradicate this disease, I'll be dancing at my children's weddings," he added.

"At present, Parkinson's is inadequately funded, no matter how one cares to spin it," said Fox. "Meager funding means a continued lack of effective treatments, slow progress in understanding the cause of the disease and little chance that a cure will come in time."

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter says he is continuing to try to increase funding, not just for Parkinson's, but for all medical research.

But he was less optimistic of being able to overcome resistance of anti-abortion members of Congress to fund experiments with fetal stem cells...which scientists told the panel offers the best hope for a successful treatment for Parkinson's.

"New investigational therapies have helped some people like me control my symptoms," said Fox, "but in the end, we all face the same reality: The medicines stop working. For people living with Parkinson's, the status quo isn't good enough."

By Bob Fuss

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