Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Diagnosed With Parkinson's

Pauline Gross
November 19, 2017

CHICAGO-Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The 76-year-old Jackson issued a statement to supporters saying family and friends noticed changes in him about three years ago that prompted him to seek medical help. After a visit to the doctor and a series of tests. he got the diagnosis.

The 76-year-old Baptist minister, who once worked with Martin Luther King Jr for the cause of equal rights for African Americans, and now heads a Chicago non-profit organization, said it has become "increasingly hard to perform routine tasks". "But as my daily physical struggles intensified I could no longer ignore the symptoms, so I acquiesced", he said. He also said that it was hard to come to terms with his diagnosis.

Jackson added that "recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful".

The diagnosis was made in 2015, and Jackson said he was concentrating on "lifestyle changes", physical therapy to slow disease progression, and on writing his memoir.

As it stands, around 10 million people are living with the condition worldwide.

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Jackson is famous for taking part in civil rights demonstrations with Martin Luther King Jr.

He noted that about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's every year.

In addition to running for US President, he's also credited for helping with the release of three US soldiers who had been held in Yugoslavia.

About 60,000 new Parkinson's diagnoses are made every year in the U.S., where the disease affects an estimated one million people. I went on to meet Dr. King and dedicate my heart and soul to the fight for justice, equality, and equal access.

"I will continue to try to instill hope in the hopeless, expand our democracy to the disenfranchised and free innocent prisoners around the world", Jackson writes of his future.

Jackson's son, Jesse a former USA congressman who represented Illinois' 2nd District. I will need your prayers and graceful understanding as I undertake this new challenge.

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