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Utahns with Parkinson's gather for new Michael J. Fox show

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Sep 26th, 2013 @ 11:16pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A new show on KSL featuring Michael J. Fox is bringing light and comedy to people living with Parkinson's Disease.

It is estimated 10,000 Utahns could be living with Parkinson's Disease every day and many are undiagnosed. Thursday night was the premiere of the Fox show that chronicles the life of a man living with Parkinson's Disease, and many Utahns gathered to watch the opening episode together.

Fox has been living with the disease for over two decades. Salt Lake City resident, LeAnn Leach, also has Parkinson's. She said that the writers of the show could have made it a drama or reality show, but she likes it as a comedy.

"Getting up the stairs some days is a victory," Leach said. "Getting to the post box some days is a victory. Some days it feels kind of uncomfortable to be in my body."

Eileen Rencher was also diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1986. She said Fox is an inspiration for both his determination and his ability to make laughter a "good medicine."

"I've learned a lot of lessons that I wouldn't have learned otherwise," Rencher said. "I've learned patience. I think I've learned a lot more patience. I've learned to laugh a lot more."

The Michael J. Fox show will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. on KSL Channel 5.

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