Published: Mon, November 20, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Jesse Jackson reveals Parkinson's disease diagnosis

Jesse Jackson reveals Parkinson's disease diagnosis

US civil rights leader the Reverend Jesse Jackson disclosed Friday he has Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological condition that affects body movement. The disease also affected his father. Now in the latter years of my life, at 76 years old, I find it increasingly hard to perform routine tasks, and getting around is more of a challenge.

The 76-year-old conceded he is finding it more and more hard to perform routine tasks or travel, and says he sought the diagnosis after his family began noticing changes in him physically beginning about three years ago.

Parkinson's - which is often hereditary - is a degenerative disease that causes trembling in the body as well as other less severe symptoms like anxiety, depression, constipation and insomnia.

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"Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it", he wrote.

While Jackson vows to continue his work, he says he will immediately make changes in his lifestyle and dedicate himself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease's progression.

In the 1980s, Jackson transitioned into politics when he ran for the Democratic nomination for president twice.

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"I am far from alone", Jackson said in his statement. This diagnosis is personal but it is more than that.

Approximately one million Americans live with Parkinson's, with 60,000 diagnosed each year.

In a statement announcing his Parkinson's diagnosis, he said: From that experience, I lost my fear of being jailed for a righteous cause.

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Jackson's fellow civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton addressed Jackson's diagnosis in a video posted to his Instagram account Friday. "God continues to give me new opportunities to serve", Jackson said.

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