Alan Alda has been one of the most enduring, and beloved figures on TV screens for over 30 years – and now, he intends to use his most recent medical prognosis to inspire others who have the same condition.
Known for his role in the TV sitcom M*A*S*H and as host of the PBS show, Scientific American Frontiers, the author, director-screenwriter was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease—but Alda insists he isn’t letting the diagnosis get the better of him.
The actor continues to live a vivacious life, married since 1957 to wife Arlene. To illustrate his enthusiasm, Alda published a video of himself juggling on Twitter as a means of announcing the disease to his social media followers.
“I decided to let people know I have Parkinson’s to encourage others to take action,” he wrote in the caption. “I was diagnosed 3 and a half years ago, but my life is full.”
“I act, I give talks, I do my podcast, which I love. If you get a diagnosis, keep moving.”
“I take boxing lessons 3 days a week, play singles tennis twice a week, and… I even juggle a little. And I’m not entering dementia. I’m no more demented than I was before,” joked Alda. “Maybe I should rephrase that. Really, I’m good.”
Alda adds that he made the decision to come clean about his Parkinson’s after he noticed himself displaying certain symptoms on camera.
“I could see my thumb twitch in some shots, and I thought it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad … point of view,” he told CBS News. “That’s not where I am.”
The star encourages others who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s not to be “immobilized by fear.” In the mean time, Alda will continue to delight his fans and raise awareness of Parkinson’s Disease, saying himself: “If there’s anything I can do, I want to do it.”
I decided to let people know I have Parkinson’s to encourage others to take action. I was Diagnosed 3 and a half years ago, but my life is full. I act, I give talks, I do my podcast, which I love. If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!— Alan Alda (@alanalda) July 31, 2018
In the last decade, Alda has published two memoirs, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: and Other Things I’ve Learned, and Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.
(Watch a classic clip from M*A*S*H)
Pass On This Role Model’s Positive Story To Your Friends – Photo by Jake Alda Coffey