What Billy Connolly is prepared to do to find a Parkinson’s cure
As we know, Parkinson’s sadly has no cure meaning it can be a very heartbreaking disease to live with. That’s why comedian Sir Billy Connolly has revealed he is willing to be a “guinea pig” if it means finding a cure.
The 75-year-old comedian has been battling with the incurable condition, which causes parts of the brain to become progressively damaged over years, since 2013 and has admitted he's been in contact with stem cell scientists at Harvard University about using him to advance their research and, hopefully in the long run, discover a cure for the condition.
Speaking in an extract taken from a book, published by The Scotsman, he said: "I've spoken to guys working on it at Harvard and told them I'll be a guinea pig for them. I think they are going to take me up on that."
Parkinson opens up about his sad meeting with friend Billy Connolly
75-year-old comedian Billy Connolly has been battling the symptoms of Parkinson's disease since 2013 and sadly, the degenerative disorder is now affecting his memory as his condition worsens.
Billy's close friend, 83-year-old Sir Michael Parkinson has recently opened up about how Billy is, saying he was saddened during a recent meeting in New York when Billy did not know who he was.
Speaking on Saturday Morning with James Martin, Michael said: "The sadness of Billy now is that wonderful brain is dulled.
"I saw him recently - he's now living in America - and it was very sad, because I was presenting him with a prize at an award ceremony.
"We had an awkward dinner together, because I wasn't quite sure if he knew who I was or not. We were walking out after the presentation to go down and have our picture taken, and he turned to me and put his hand on my shoulders."
Michael and Billy have been close friends for years, after Billy made a number of appearances on his famous talk show, Parkinson, which ran from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007, and he found the experience with his pal deeply upsetting.
He added: "And to know someone as long as I knew and loved Billy… it was an awful thing to contemplate, that that had been taken from him in a sense.
He was just a genius and the best thing that happened to me on the show."
Sadly, Billy has previously admitted he has contemplated suicide on numerous occasions since being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
Asked in 2016 if he has ever thought about ending his life, he said: "Yeah sometimes I give it a bit of thought when I'm in bed. I think, 'Well this is forever, this isn't going to get better, it's going to get worse.' But then I try and change my mind and I try and meditate and move away from it sideways.
"The guy who told me I had it said to me 'You know it's incurable?' I thought he could have said 'We have yet to find a cure' or something like that to put a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I'm okay at the moment but it comes and goes. Sometimes I have trouble getting out of bed and I walk strangely. Turning over (in bed) is difficult. Turning from one side to the other can be quite complicated."