Jesse Jackson Diagnosed With Parkinson's Disease At 76

What is Parkinson's disease

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson said Friday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's is an incurable neurological disease that can cause tremors and affect coordination.

He added: "But I would note while Parkinson's may be a physical condition, it will never ever break Rev Jackson's spiritual commitment to justice and his ability to help continue to be a voice for those whose voices are not heard".

Jackson said Parkinson's "bested" his father, Noah Lewis Robinson Sr., who died in 1988 at the age of 88.

The former politician - who was recently accused of sexual harassment - admitted that recognizing the effects the disease has had on him already has been "painful".

He now plans to focus on physical therapy, hoping to slow down the disease.

Jackson rose to prominence in the 1960s thanks to his friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work in the civil rights movement, specifically the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He also successfully negotiated for the release of three USA soldiers who had been held in Yugoslavia and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton. "I steadfastly affirm that I would rather wear out than rust out", the 76-year-old said.

Jackson was diagnosed with the disease in 2015, according to a statement from Northwestern Medicine provided by an aid to Jackson.

Rev. Al Sharpton posted a video on Twitter saying he had spent the last few days in NY with Jackson, saying that "no one in our lifetime served longer and stronger, we pray for him because he's given his life for us". From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy.

"I'm praying for you and your family". I pray you find the strength to battle the symptoms. Losing dopamine neurons is a normal part of aging, but those with the disease lose many more than usual.

About 60,000 new Parkinson's diagnoses are made every year in the USA, where the disease affects an estimated one million people.

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