Ali made Parkinson’s his enemy, dedicating a decade of his life to fighting it. He seized the opportunity that came to him and turned it into a new cause for himself. In doing so, he raised millions of dollars for Parkinson’s research, inspired millions more with his courage, and made history by becoming the first human being to have his brain viewed with an MRI scan–all without losing his sense of humour or trademark smile.
Ali saw Parkinson’s as another challenge for him to overcome—not an excuse to give up.” When Muhammad Ali stepped into the ring against G. Foreman in 1974, he was a 40-year-old with Parkinson’s disease. In those few seconds, Ali showed the world, “I have Parkinson’s disease but Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have me.” The image alone would inspire millions and epitomize the legacy of Muhammad Ali as “The People’s Champion.”