Alan Alda, one of the most respected names in Hollywood for decades, is standing strong despite a tragic diagnosis. In a recent interview, the Emmy Award winner stated he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three and a half years ago. Parkinson’s is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Alda wanted to let the public know, since the diagnosis, he’s lived a fulfilling life.

He’s been acting, speaking, and helping at the Alda Center at Stony Brook. The former M.A.S.H. star even recently started a new podcast. In some of his latest interviews, Alda has noticed a twitch in his thumb and figured it was only a short while before someone knew what was going on. He didn’t want his health issue to be a sad story. Alda didn’t want anyone feeling bad for him.

Alda was the one who asked for a brain scan thinking it was possible he might have the disease that impacts nearly one million people across the United States. Early symptoms can include tremors, loss of smell, and trouble moving or walking. A tip from a New York Times article pointing out a different early symptom of Parkinson’s caught Alda’s eye. Alda said he was experiencing acting out in his dreams. It was after his wife told him he threw a pillow at her in his sleep that he decided to get it checked out even though there were no other symptoms.

Despite the diagnosis, it hasn’t stopped Alda from living and trying new things. He realized he was fortunate at the time to have little and less severe symptoms. That gave Alda the motivation to live an active life including taking boxing lessons. He knows he’s the same person he’s always been regardless of the health issue has to deal with.

Parkinson’s Disease is different for everyone and Alda understands the challenges that each day might bring. Despite those challenges, he’s able to encourage himself to keep busy and try something new. Alda sees the disease as a puzzle that has to be solved. He needs to be adaptable so he can carry on his normal life. It’s a puzzle he wants to solve and the actor expects to do just that.

Alda plans on using his celebrity status to help the scientific community learn more about Parkinson’s disease. The man who brought the unforgettable role of Hawkeye Pierce to life will continue to stay positive and strong. It’s this attitude that allowed the stellar actor to appear in the hit series Ray Donovan as well as the film Marriage Story in the past two years. The Oscar-nominated actor racked up five Emmy Awards in his career. The Hollywood community was shocked about Alda’s revelation and wishes him the best as he continues his battle with Parkinson’s.