Thursday, January 19, 2012

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

"I considered Lance [Armstrong], along with Christopher Reeve, a role model for what I hoped to accomplish. These were both men who had met transforming challanges. Each had taken a negative and turned it into a positive. I didn't have to let the terms of the disease define me - I could redefine the terms. And maybe in the process get a better deal for me and everyone else in my situation."  -Michael J. Fox, Always Looking Up (pg. 35) {Words in brackets are mine.}

Wow, this book was one of those amazing stories that you wish everyone in the world knew about. Not just because Michael J. Fox has overcome Parkinson's and led the foremost leading foundation for research for a cure, but because through the tough times he discovered many truths and breakthroughs in his work, politics, faith, and family. These are also the sections into which he divides this novel.

Covering the time from when he decided to quit Spin City until 2008, shortly after the election of Obama, Fox opens himself up to the world just as he did when he announced he had Parkinson's back in 2000. Deciding to give up, for the most part, his acting career, while a tough decision for the man, turned out to be the best. He then decided to start the Michael J Fox Foundation for Research for a cure in Parkinson's. This book speaks mostly to his journey with the foundation through these four areas of his life.

Yes, many times I cried, in particular when Fox speaks of Christopher Reeve, one of my real life heroes as well as a fictional one. He speaks of that great man with such love and respect it is hard not to remember Reeve and his wife and how incredible they were. But I am happy to say that many times I also laughed out loud, also shaking my head with the author and nodding in agreement. As I said, this was just an incredible book!

Let me know if you would like to read this. I can't put it up for a Wednesday giveaway, I can't bring myself to give it up to someone for good. However, I wish everyone would take the time to read this amazing book, and so I am willing to lend it out. It is such an inspirational book, not just to those who have or know someone with Parkinson's, but to anyone facing a tough situation that could use a bit of the "Incurable Optimism."

"To characterize hope as some sort of malady or some kind of flaw of character or national weakness is, to me, really counter to what this country if about." -Michael J. Fox, on an interview with George Stephanopoulos for ABC in 2006, Always Looking Up (pg 150).

No comments:

Post a Comment