Rev. Jesse Jackson discloses Parkinson’s disease diagnosis

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
FILE: Civil rights icon Jesse Jackson told the Florida delegation during the 2016 Democratic National Convention that not voting in November is an indication of surrender. (Stan Chambers Jr./WINK News)

CHICAGO (AP) The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he’s been seeking outpatient care for two years for Parkinson’s disease and plans to “dedicate” himself to physical therapy.

In a Friday letter to supporters, the 76-year-old says family and friends noticed a change in him about three years ago and he could no longer ignore symptoms.

He says the diagnosis isn’t a sign to stop working but a signal to make lifestyle changes to slow progression of the chronic neurological disorder that causes movement difficulties.

MORE: WINK at DNC: Civil rights icon – Not voting indicates surrender

The civil rights icon also released a Northwestern Medicine letter saying he was diagnosed in 2015 and has sought outpatient care.

Jackson runs the Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. He’s remained a strong voice in anti-discrimination efforts, including advocating for affordable housing, and been a fixture at protests nationwide.

Jackson declined further comment Friday.

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