Best known for the role of Captain Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the war comedy-drama television series M*A*S*H, actor Alan Alda, 86, is a six-time Emmy award winner whose career as an actor, screenwriter, and director spans almost seven decades.
Back in 2018, Alda opened up about his health and revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This news was devastating to say the least, but Alda never let the diagnosis affect the person he has always been.
According to Alda, in order to keep the symptoms at bay, he relies on exercises and a lot of movement.
Among the rest, he revealed he’s been taking boxing lessons three times a day.
In an 2020 interview with Good Morning America, Alda spoke of the symptoms he had experienced before he urged himself to visit a doctor.
“In 2015, I read an article in the New York Times by Jane Brody, in which a couple of doctors said some of their Parkinson’s patients had one particular early symptom, and it’s an unusual one: People act out their dreams while they’re asleep. I realised I had done just that,” he said.
“I had dreamed somebody was attacking me, and in the dream I threw a sack of potatoes at him. In reality, I threw a pillow at my wife.“
So, believing there was a good chance I had Parkinson’s, I went to a neurologist and asked for a brain scan.
“He examined me and said, ‘I don’t think you need a scan. You don’t have any symptoms.’ I said, ‘Well, I’d really like the scan anyway.’ And he called me back and said, ‘Boy, you really got it.’”
Alda believes it is very important for people not to get depressed upon hearing the diagnosis. Although they don’t know what the future holds and how fast the disease would progress, they need to find a motivation to keep strong.
“To live a normal life, you must adapt. It has to be solved like a puzzle. I like to solve problems,” this proclaimed actor says.
He always chooses to stay optimistic and does all in his power to raise awareness about Parkinson’s and teach the wide public how much has been done in the fight against this disease throughout the years.