DETROIT (FOX 2) - Kirk Gibson was born and raised in the Detroit area and, after college at Michigan State, he led the Tigers to the 1984 World Series Championship and another American League pennant three years later. His legendary status for Detroit and Michigan cannot be topped.
Today, Gibson is battling Parkinson's Disease but he's not alone. While he's helped bring championships to Detroit, he's also given back, starting with his Kirk Gibson Foundation in 1996. Following his diagnosis, Gibson expanded the mission to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's research.
"When you have a condition, and this is not just for me or Drew (Stanton) or anybody, this is where it could happen to anybody. You don't think it can. But when a reality becomes a new normal for you, you like to have people to help you out. And that's really what we do. We help people with awareness. We get them set up in a nurse Navigator program. We make sure you go see the right type of doctor. Um you know you have medicine. You have therapies, and we want to make sure that we assist you and trying to navigate through these tough times. But there's some embarrassing things. I mean. I drool sometimes it's not something that I'm proud to say, So watch it when I get by you," Gibson said.
Gibson and Stanton, both Michigan State Spartans, are working together to raise money for Special Olympics and a hospital in Lansing.
"He raises money for Sparrow Hospital in Lansing and some for the special Olympics as well. I think this is his 12th year and it was canceled last year, as many events were. So if you have the ability to help go to his foundation group, it's the high5ivefoundation.org," Gibson said.
Relentless as a player, Gibson isn't giving up or settling. That's the message he has for everyone - no matter what the battle is - you can decide what happens to your life.
"You just have a choice. Whether you have Parkinson's or whether you have a headache or whether you've got a kid that's acting up and is not cooperative. You have a choice. You can make it a good day. A positive day. You can get your butt up and you get moving. You know, people say no, I think I want to take a nap. Well, you know what? You get on your feet and go for a little light walk. Out in the sun. Get some sun. You're gonna feel better, just the way it is. you gotta have people to help you through those things. I do that, Um, you know, they're Yeah. Family members. You have friends. The outpouring of people to help you all is enormous, and you probably don't even realize it, so let's utilize those resources.
On Aug. 23rd, Gibson will host his fifth annual golf outing at Wind Gate Country Club in Rochester Hills. If you'd like to be a part of it, or want more information, head over to KirkGibsonfoundation.org.