Ex-NBA Star Grant Battles Parkinson's

Retired forward hopes to help other early-onset sufferers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2009 1:26 AM CDT
Brian Grant, then playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, waits on the court during a 1999 game against the Los Angeles Clippers.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Retired NBA forward Brian Grant has gone public with his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, ESPN reports. The former player, whose career included stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Miami Heat, said tests in January confirmed he had the disease. He decided to come forward now to combat rumors and offer support to other early-onset Parkinson's patients.

"I finally decided, 'I need to get in front of this,'" said Grant, 37. "Maybe there's somebody who is in their 20s and has young onset and is scared. We're all going through this together. This has given me a purpose." Grant has spoken with fellow sufferers Michael J. Fox and Muhammed Ali, and noted that some of his symptoms have subsided with lifestyle changes.