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Michael J Fox Says He Has ‘No Regrets’ While Getting Candid About Living With Parkinson’s Disease

By Samantha Whidden,

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

After more than 30 years of living with Parkinson’s disease, Back to the Future star Michael J Fox says he has no regrets about how he’s approached his health and acting.

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PEOPLE reports that while he was promoting his new documentary Still, Fox opened up during a Q&A session about living with Parkinson’s disease and his time working after being diagnosed. “I have no regrets. You have to do what you have do, but you don’t want to kill yourself. And that’s when I stopped [acting].”

Also speaking about giving fans an inside look at his personal struggles with Parkinson’s, Michael J Fox shared, “My fans have basically given me my life. I wanted to give these people who have done so much for me my time and gratitude. It was great for me to hear from all of you.”

Fox then spoke about how he “mobilized” others to care about the non-curable disease. “I didn’t have a choice. This is it. I have to give everything I have, and it’s not lip service. I show up and do the best I can.”

Michael J Fox went on to explain that he believes pity is a “benign” form of abuse. “I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that. There is stuff to be learned from this, so let’s do that and move on.”

Meanwhile, Michael J Fox shared more details about Still and how it highlights his personal and professional triumphs and struggles while battling Parkinson’s over the past three decades.

[Director] David [Guggenheim] said early on, ‘I want to cover Parkinson’s,’” Fox explained. “‘But I don’t want to make a movie about Parkinson’s.’ He made a movie about life. He made a conscientious decision not to make a movie about Parkinson’s.”

Michael J Fox Recently Recalled Being in Denial For Years After Being Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

PEOPLE previously reported that while accepting the Jean Hershel Humanitarian Award last fall, Michael J Fox spoke about struggling with his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

“I was told I only had 10 years left to work,” Fox recalled. “That was s—y. That’s what happened. The hardest part of my diagnosis was grappling with the certainty of the diagnosis and the uncertainty of the situation.”

Michael J Fox began to struggle with knowing that his condition would only worse. “The diagnosis was definite, the progress was indefinite and uncertain. [Wife Tracy Pollan] made it clear that she was with me for the duration. But my young son, Sam, didn’t know. He didn’t have a choice.”

After nearly a decade of being in denial of his diagnosis, Fox said he began to tell others about his condition. “I told very few people, and they kept my secret. Then there were all kinds of doctors who helped me understand the physical processes that were at work, or not at work, in my brain, as the case may be.”

Michael J Fox went on to add that he finally felt he was ready to tell everyone in 1999. “I understood it would have a huge impact on my career.”

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