I just finished reading Michael J. Fox’s new book, “Always Looking Up“.  I had ordered it from Amazon.com and read it in just a few days after its arrival.  It is an “easy” read, but is very inspiring.  Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, has stayed upbeat and positive throughout the ordeal of battling his illness.  This morning I was reading my local newspaper, The State, from Columbia, SC and there was an article about Fox and his struggle and about his new book.  The article came from The Associated Press.  It doesn’t come with much warning to those of you reading this blog, but the article points out that there is a TV special “Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” airing on ABC tonight (March 7, 2009) at 10:00 pm.  During the show, Fox will visit with seven- Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.  Armstrong is a cancer survivor and the eternal optimist like Fox.

I would encourage you to read “Always Looking Up” for an inspirational read.  Fox focuses on his work, his faith, his family, and politics.  He has been very active in stem cell research and working hard for the right to that research.  Potentially stem cell research could bring cures to many illnesses/diseases we struggle with today.  Quoting from The Associated Press, out of The State newspaper, Fox says “Right now things are tough and people have reason to expect the worst.  But I see a real effort by people to turn all that into a positive - to seize the opportunity to strive for something better.”  Fox continues with, “Optimism doesn’t mean being in denial.  It’s not Pollyannish. It allows for the fact that things things are tough.  There can be tough optimism: an acceptance of obstacles, with a willingness to fight through them”   READ the book!

Much of Fox’s efforts have involved the right to do stem cell research.  In the same newspaper that the Fox article was in, there was a full page ad for ResearchMeansHope.org   .  They state that medical research is the beginning of hope.  The ad goes on to say “….too many South Carolinians still suffer from heart disease, asthma, depression, Parkinson’s and other incurable diseases.  We can change this - through significanct, annual increases in federal funding for medical research.”  Follow Fox’s lead and be optimistic.  ”Tell your members of Congress that you support significant, annual increases in medical research funding.  Go to ResearchMeansHope.org to send your message TODAY!