KATIE COURIC VISITS WITH MUHAMMAD ALI AND MICHAEL J. FOX -- SUNDAY, ARPIL 16 ON "DATELINE"
KATIE COURIC VISITS WITH TWO AMERICAN ICONS, MUHAMMAD ALI AND MICHAEL J. FOX, TO DISCUSS THEIR PERSONAL AND PUBLIC FIGHT AGAINST PARKINSON'S DISEASE
The Exclusive Report Will Air on "Dateline NBC" - Sunday, April 16th at 7pm
NEW YORK -- April 12, 2006 -- Affecting 1.5 million Americans and millions more worldwide, Parkinson's is a progressive, neurological disorder that is on the cusp of potential medical breakthroughs. Leading the way are two American icons, Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox. In an exclusive report, Katie Couric visits with Ali and Fox to discuss their personal and public battles against Parkinson's and what it is like being front and center in a polarizing debate. The multi-part broadcast airs this Sunday, April 16th on "Dateline NBC" (7:00 PM/ET).
For the report, Couric visits with Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie, at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to learning how the center manages to offer programs free of charge, Couric talks with people who have been the beneficiaries of the Alis' work. Lonnie shares with Couric that it was Fox who inspired Ali to speak out publicly about the disorder. She says, "...before Muhammad actually met Michael, Muhammad wouldn't speak in public. He was very...aware of his speech...very shy about speaking on camera...at one time this was a man who loved the camera, you couldn't shut him up. And he saw Michael go out in front of a whole lot of people and start talking about Parkinson's disease and everything...and just being very courageous about it, not hiding it. And after that Muhammad started doing the same thing."
Over the years, America has seen Michael J. Fox transform himself from Hollywood star to scientific crusader, attempting to improve the lives of millions suffering from the debilitating disease he was diagnosed with 13 years ago. "Dateline" has followed him from the halls of Congress to some of the nation's leading laboratories in his public efforts to raise money and advocate stem cell research. Fox shares with Couric how his life has changed since breaking his seven-year silence in 1998 in intimate detail, revealing that despite Hollywood's interest to have him return to the small screen on a more permanent basis, his fulltime gig is raising his four children with his wife, Tracy Pollan.
David Corvo is the executive producer of "Dateline NBC." Photos are available on www.nbcumv.com. Viewers can find more information on Parkinson's disease as well as the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Muhammad Ali's Parkinson's Center. On www.Dateline.MSNBC.com