12 Famous People Whose Lives Are Touched by Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a heartbreaking condition that can affect anyone, even if they are rich and famous, extremely active, and intelligent. But though this disease does not discriminate between race, gender, and sometimes age, celebrities and patient advocates do what they can to raise awareness for Parkinson's disease, and support each other when they need to.
These 12 celebrities have either been diagnosed with this awful disease, or have had family members who are affected by it.
Celebrities who you may (or may not) know are affected by Parkinson's disease
1. Michael Clifford
Former United States Army officer and NASA astronaut, Michael Clifford spent 665 hours circling the globe during three space missions, and one of them was while he was dealing with Parkinson’s’.
Clifford kept his sickness a secret for years but decided to share his story when he appreciated that Parkinson’s’ had never prevented him from fulfilling his dreams. He collaborated on The Astronaut’s Secret, a documentary about his career and battle with Parkinson’s.
2. Harry Styles
Harry Styles, the One Direction star and singer does not have Parkinson’s, but he was a caretaker for his grandfather, Brian Selley, a Parkinson's patient diagnosed in 2009. Styles’ mother, Anne Twist described Harry and his sister Gemma as the perfect caretakers.
3. Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt, the Grammy award-winning singer, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012. She had been showing symptoms for eight years before a final diagnosis was determined. She continued her career until Parkinson’s altered her voice and caused her vocal cords to stop working.
4. The Queen of England's granddaughter Zara Tindall's father-in-law
The Queen of England’s granddaughter Zara Tindall’s father-in-law has Parkinson’s. He can no longer play with her daughter because of his severe symptoms. Zara’s father-in-law is a former Barclays banker, and his diagnosis came in 2003. Tindall campaigns on behalf of Parkinson’s and has hosted charity golf events for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and the Matt Hampson Foundation.
Photo: Michael Clifford by NASA on the Commons