Comedian Richard Lewis announced he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and has retired from stand-up comedy.
Lewis announced Sunday on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with the degenerative condition about two years ago, after several other health issues that had impacted him over the past three and a half years, The Associated Press reported.
He said that he wanted to go out at the top of his nearly 50-year career and had decided to retire from stand-up comedy. Then he had to undergo a series of back-to-back surgeries, including procedures on his back, shoulder and hip.
As he was focusing on his physical therapy, Lewis said he started walking stiffly and after undergoing tests, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
“Luckily, I got it late in life, and they say you progress very slowly if at all, and I’m on the right meds, so I’m cool,” he said, the AP reported.
Instead of stand-up, Lewis said he will now focus on writing and acting, CNN reported.
He had recently wrapped filming of the 12th season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” he said in the video posted on Twitter.
The Mayo Clinic says Parkinson’s disease “is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system and the parts of the body controlled by the nerves.”
It starts slowly, sometimes as a slight tremor in a hand, or arms that won’t swing when someone is walking. Then, as the condition progresses, speech may become soft or slurred.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease but medication can help improve symptoms.
Lewis is not the only celebrity who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Michael J. Fox and Neil Diamond also have the disease, the AP reported.
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