“Robin Williams, who was found dead from an apparent suicide earlier this week, was battling the ‘early stages’ of Parkinson’s disease at the time, his wife said in statement Thursday,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
According to the story, the full statement released by Susan Schneider, Williams’ wife, reads:
Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.
Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.
The Times story also notes that some Parkinson’s patients experience difficulty walking or talking. According the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, some symptoms of the disease may also include “depression and other emotional changes,” the Times says.
Earlier this week TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross wrote about Williams’ appearance at a fundraiser to raise money for research into Parkinson’s disease a number of years ago– which you can read if you click here.
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider