Monday, August 13, 2012

Lucky Man: A Memoir, by Michael J. Fox

I don't much enjoy biographies, and certainly not celebrity biographies.    I read Mr. Fox's book in spite of his celebrity, because of his work raising awareness of and money to combat Parkinson's disease.

The memoir is good:  readable, interesting, it moves along.   Mostly it points out that disease is equal opportunity, and that sometimes the best thing for average folks suffering from an ailment is for a public figure to publicly share the problem.

Mr. Fox lobbied the former Bush administration to allow the use of stem cells in research.   This wasn't to ask for additional fetuses to be harmed, but rather to use the cells of fetuses that otherwise would simply be discarded.    He got some lukewarm success.    Not until Mr. Obama took office did things turn a bit in terms of government restriction on research.   You can count the eight years of Mr. Bush's presidency as having delayed the possibility of cure or advanced treatment of Parkinson's for over a million Americans, some of whom won't now live to see the result.

Mr. Fox spends very little time on this topic; he doesn't portray a political point of view, just a pragmatic approach towards wanting to see progress against the disease.   And very little of that too, just at the end of his memoir, the bulk of it tilted towards his childhood, family and his alcoholism.

This is a short, fast, interesting read.    As was his earlier book , which I enjoyed even more.

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