The Michael J. Fox Foundation Annual Report 2016 - Frameworks for Progress - Page 34

In Memoriam In June 2016, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) and the Parkinson’s community mourned the passing of Muhammad Ali while celebrating his iconic presence and indomitable spirit. Following two decades of unparalleled triumph in the boxing ring, Ali retired from the sport in 1981, shortly before his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis at age 42. With his wife, Lonnie, by his side, he shifted focus to advocacy and humanitarianism. “Curing Parkinson’s disease once seemed impossible. But momentum is at last on our side. We believe without fail that cures are within reach if we dare to do more, not less. Muhammad Ali showed us what it means to have the heart of a champion. Now is our chance to honor him by finishing the fight he could not.” —Michael J. Fox and Todd Sherer, PhD, CNN.com After Michael J. Fox revealed his PD diagnosis publicly in 1998, he and Ali joined forces to shine a spotlight on the critical need to fund research. Lonnie and Muhammad Ali joined the MJFF Founders’ Council, and Lonnie served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2004. 32 The Michael J. Fox Foundation