Michael J Fox: “Now is our chance to honour Ali by finishing the fight he could not”


Author: Geoffrey ChangPublished: 3 August 2016

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Michael J Fox

Two months after his death, we look at how people are remembering Muhammad Ali and his work for Parkinson’s outside the ring

Finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease is the best way to honour Muhammad Ali, according to Michael J Fox. The boxing champion died two months ago (3 June 2016) and battled with Parkinson’s for more than three decades.

Fox, 54, has called for a renewed drive to find a cure in memory of his close friend Ali, who was an active member of The Michael J Fox Foundation.

In a joint opinion piece with Todd Sherer, CEO of the Fox Foundation, Fox wrote: “‘Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare,’ Ali famously said. 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 honour him by finishing the fight he could not.”

Meanwhile, American football player Eric Ebron, whose own grandfather had Parkinson’s, paid personal tribute to Ali by wearing customised boots that featured Ali’s dominating figure, as well as a pair of red boxing gloves on the front. The design is finished with the boxer’s famous quote: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”.

Ebron was just 10 years old when his grandfather died with Parkinson’s disease. So creating the customised boots has been a way for him to remember a close family member – one that inspired him to play football – as well as a sporting legend.

The Detroit Lions player admits being an admirer of Ali’s fighting attitude and self-belief, which he believes is vital in all sports.

“He kind of reminds me of the attitude you should have through sports,” said Ebron. “It’s to believe in yourself, no matter what no one says. No matter what no one does, you’re always just believing in yourself. Muhammad Ali said he was ‘The Greatest’ before he was.”

Ebron hopes to bring more awareness to a cause close to his heart and has previously auctioned off custom-designed boots to raise money for The Michael J Fox Foundation.

Eric Ebron

Credit: www.theericebron.com

Read more: How the world reacted to the death of Muhammad Ali

Lead image credit: The Michael J Fox Foundation

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