Black Sabbath’s “Prince of Darkness,” Ozzy Osbourne, has revealed that he has Parkinson’s Disease.
In an interview with Good Morning America, the rock star opened up to Robin Roberts about the illness. He and his wife Sharon—who is also his manager—revealed that he has been battling with the disorder since last February. Sharon explained how her husband carries the ‘Parkin 2’ gene.
“There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s,” she said. “It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s — it’s like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.”
Osbourne himself said that even though his family has been such a huge help and support system for him at home, it can still get difficult at times.
“…When I see my wife goin’ to work, my kids goin’ to work, everybody’s doing — tryin’ to be helpful to me, that gets me down because I can’t contribute to my family, you know. But you know, put it this way — I’m a lot better now than I was last February. I was in a shocking state.”
Last February, Osbourne fell ill with the flu. Sharon said that he got the diagnosis around that time. In April, he suffered a fall at their home, prompting him to cancel all of his 2019 performances.
The Effects of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. The progression of its symptoms vary from person to person but those with it may experience tremors, balance problems and more. As of now, there is no treatment for Parkinson’s.
Actor Michael J. Fox announced his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 1998, but found out that he had the disorder seven years before in 1991. Since then, he became a vocal advocate for finding a cure for Parkinson’s. He also started the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has since funded over $900 million to research projects working to find a cure.
Other notable figures diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease—all of which had different types—include Muhammad Ali, Robin Williams, Neil Diamond, George H.W. Bush and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
A Positive Ozzy
Rumors about Osbourne’s health have been in speculation for a few years, but he feels good about being honest to his fans about his diagnosis.
“I feel better now that I’ve owned up to the fact that I have a case of Parkinson’s. I just hope they hang on and they’re there for me because I need them. They’re my air.”
Osbourne also made it clear that he is, in no way, done with touring or his work in general, and that he “can’t wait to get back out on the road again.”
He later took to Twitter to thank everyone who sent him love and well wishes.