Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, 76, says he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is an incurable neurological disorder that can cause tremors, stiffness and difficulty balancing, walking and coordinating movement.
The two-time Democratic presidential candidate revealed the news in an emotional letter on Friday.
Jackson said he first noticed the disease three years ago when he began having great difficulty performing routine tasks and little trips became more of a challenge.
“My family and I began to notice changes about three years ago. For a while, I resisted interrupting my work to visit a doctor,” he said in the statement.
“But as my daily physical struggles intensified I could no longer ignore the symptoms, so I acquiesced.
“After a battery of tests, my physicians identified the issue as Parkinson’s disease, a disease that bested my father.
“For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.
Jackson said his work would not stop as a result of the disease.
“I will continue to try to instill hope in the hopeless, expand our democracy to the disenfranchised and free innocent prisoners around the world,” he said.
“I’m also spending some time working on my memoir so I can share with others the lessons I have learned in my life of public service.
“I steadfastly affirm that I would rather wear out than rust out.”
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