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.

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.

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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