Alan Alda just revealed he has Parkinson's Disease. Here's how he wants to help others.

Alan Alda received a scary diagnosis but he‘s choosing to face it with courage and service.

To an entire generation, he was “Hawkeye,” the peace-loving soldier on “M*A*S*H."

But the 82-year-old actor is creating a new legacy for himself as he opens up about living with Parkinson’s disease.


During an interview on July 31, Alda revealed he was diagnosed three years ago. “I think because I'm sort of well-known, it might be helpful to people to hear the message that there are things you can do,” he said. “You can learn about things and not follow quackery, but find out what real science is coming up with. That helps.”

He knew the story would come out but he’s choosing to define the narrative.

Alda has continued to act since his diagnosis, deciding when to reveal the news publicly.

“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,‘ but that's not where I am," he said. “I've had a richer life than I've had up until now."

"This is not to short change people who are suffering with real severe symptoms," he added. But for those who can still remain active, Alda is letting people know they are not alone and even offering some of delightful — and impressive — tips for staying active.

"I'm taking boxing lessons three times a week,” he said. “I do singles tennis a couple of times a week. I march to Sousa music because marching to music is good for Parkinson's."

Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images.

Not surprisingly, Alda hasn’t stopped entertaining and informing audiences around the globe. He hosts a podcast on communication and used to host a long-running show on science.

Now, he’s taking the stage in an act of public service to bring hope and comfort to others facing Parkinson’s disease — and that’s a role worth celebrating.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.