Neil Diamond surprised and shocked his fans yesterday by announced he is retiring from concert touring because it had become “difficult to travel and perform” after he was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In a statement on his website, Neil offered his “sincerest apologies” to those who planned to attend his shows in Australia and New Zealand in March. The concerts, part of his 50th anniversary tour, have been cancelled on his “doctors’ advice,” the statement read. Neil has vowed to continue to write and record music “for a long time to come” despite the illness.
Singer Linda Ronstadt revealed that she had Parkinson’s disease in 2013. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Symptoms of the disease include shaking and slow movement. Various treatments of Parkinson’s disease include medication, surgery, and stem cell transplants. Canadian actor Michael J. Fox has become a spokesperson for Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed in 1991, and started The Michael J. Fox Foundation to help advance research to cure the disease. There is no cure, but great strides have been made in the treatment and management of this debilitating disease.