Sad news… Reverend Jessie Jackson announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson disease via social media.
“After a battery of tests, my physicians identified the issue as Parkinson’s disease, a disease that bested my father,” Jackson, 76, wrote on the website of his organization, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. “Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it. For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”
There is no cure for the disease. Jackson said in his letter than he planned to “make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression. However, the unfortunate reality was that all forms of therapy for the disorder can “improve symptoms” but have never stopped Parkinson’s from progressing at its typical rate.
While Jackson said his father suffered from the same disease, it is not hereditary, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, named for the actor who also has Parkinson’s.
Jackson is 76 years old and has been an advocate for equal rights since the civil rights movement. Prayers for Jackson and his friends and family.