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5 faces of Parkinson's disease, brought to you by Michael J. Fox.

There's still no cure for Parkinson's disease; Michael J. Fox wants to change that.

5 faces of Parkinson's disease, brought to you by Michael J. Fox.

In 1998, Michael J. Fox revealed that he had been living with Parkinson's disease for the previous seven years.

The announcement came as a huge shock to the public. At the time of the announcement, Fox was the star of his own ABC sitcom, "Spin City." He joined a select group of public figures with the disease, alongside legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and then-Attorney General Janet Reno.


Fox strikes a post with Ali before giving Congressional testimony in 2002. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Then in 2000, he co-founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Using his celebrity to shine a light on the struggle people living with Parkinson's face, Fox's foundation hoped to get beyond building awareness and actually focus on helping others with the disease.

Fox speaks at a benefit to raise funds for stem cell research in 2004. Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images.

Since 2000, the organization has raised more than $450 million dedicated to Parkinson's research. Go, Michael!

In a new video, Fox is helping to demystify the disease in another way, too: by using his platform to tell others' stories.

Last year, the foundation released a video titled "Faces of Parkinson's." The video has five individuals with the disease explaining what their Parkinson's looks like. As Fox says at the beginning of the video, "I was 29 when I learned I had Parkinson's disease. I soon learned that each patient has their own version of Parkinson's, their own story to tell."

Here are five of those stories.

1. Susan Kauffman was diagnosed in 2006, two weeks after her 39th birthday.

"[Parkinson's] just came across me like, 'Where did this come from? Why me?'" she says. After a few years, Kauffman came to terms with the disease, resolving to do whatever she could to help find a cure.

All photos from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

2. New York-based artist Tom Shannon's first symptoms involved his sense of smell.

Soon after, he began to notice his arm cramping up. He describes Parkinson's effects on his work, and especially on his drawing, as "discouraging."

3. Tom Picone first noticed symptoms after his 50th birthday.

"I was writing thank you notes to people for my 50th birthday party," he says in the video. "I would start the note, and the letters would get smaller and smaller. Sooner or later, the hand wouldn't move."

4. Joyce Chu noticed something was up while she was running.

"I just had problems running. My right leg just didn't keep up with the left leg," she says, admitting that she didn't think much of it at the time. It wasn't until her husband asked what was wrong that Chu became more aware of the changes and early symptoms.

She resolved to run one final marathon before hanging up her sneakers.

5. Brian Grant played professional basketball for more than a decade before he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

In 2005, Grant was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Before the 2006 season, he announced his retirement from basketball. The eighth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft, Grant was one of the world's elite athletes.

"My greatest fear is losing control of me," he said in a 2009 interview with ESPN, "Having someone have to take care of me. But that was at the beginning."

For extended versions of these stories, check out the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research video below.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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