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The Script of Your Life is Not Written Yet - Michael J. Fox

Author: Advertising Specialty Institute

Published: 2011-01-25

Synopsis and Key Points:

Life is about choices and the only choice I do not have is about Parkinsons everything else is up to me.

Main Digest

"Back to the Future" star and Parkinson's activist Michael J. Fox offered life lessons to a crowd of over 2,000 in an inspiring keynote address at the Advertising Specialty Institute's national trade show in Orlando Tuesday.

With humor, wit and honesty, Fox moved and encouraged attendees. "The script of your life is not written yet," he said, stressing his fight with Parkinson's disease has been an opportunity to help others. "Life is about choices and the only choice I don't have is about Parkinson's. Everything else is up to me."

Drawing on his natural talent for comedy, Fox told the crowd about his start in acting while he was growing up in British Columbia, Canada. "I had a great drama teacher in high school," Fox said. "He used to say to us that we're all here because we're not all there." Fox moved to Hollywood to pursue his acting dreams but admitted he quickly became poor and frustrated and was days away from going back to Canada to work in construction. "My apartment was so small I had to do my dishes in the shower," he joked.

Fox finally got his first big break when the producers of the show "Family Ties" called. "I didn't have a phone, so I closed the deal on a pay phone outside a chicken joint," Fox said. In short time, Fox was a star, but at age 29 his life would change yet again. "One day there was a tremor in my pinky finger," he said. "Later a doctor sat me down and told me I had Parkinson's. I didn't want to believe it."

Rather than leaving the public eye, Fox has devoted himself to finding a cure for Parkinson's, raising the hopes and quality of life of those who suffer from the disorder. To date, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised more than $225 million for Parkinson's research. "Answers aren't going to fall from the sky," Fox told today's crowd. "We have to reach up for them."

The ASI Show in Orlando ended Tuesday after three days and a record-breaking attendance of 5,900 distributors of promotional products.

About ASI - The Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest education, media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties. Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 22,000 ASI distributor firms. Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers. ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools. Visit ASI and The ASI Show at, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO's blog.

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