Muhammad Ali was told by doctors that he had just 10 years to live after they discovered he was battling with Parkinson’s disease in 1986.
The legendary boxer – who passed away on Friday (03.06.16) from septic shock aged 74 – was given the devastating prognosis by doctors after they discovered he was battling the crippling condition but his positive mindset allowed him to beat the odds and live for another 32 years.
Ali’s close friend Tim Shanahan told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Muhammad handled any setback with dignity. He never felt sorry for himself, never asked why me? He faced these setbacks as challenges. He’d tell me ‘Everyday God tests me and everyday I pass that test.’
“Muhammad wanted to achieve so much he refused to let an opponent like Parkinson’s stand in his way.
“He say ‘Tim, do you remember in 1986 when the UCLA doctors told me that I had Parkinson’s and I had 10 years to live, maybe 15? Well, I am still in the fight 30 years on and I shook up the world again.’ ”
The three-time heavyweight champion, who sustained thousands of punches to head during his career, first reported his symptoms in 1980 – 10 weeks before his fight against Larry Holmes – when he noticed a tingling sensation in his hands and found he was slurring his speech.
Doctors later found a small hole in the outer layer of Ali’s brain and claimed his career may have lead to the condition.
Ali retired from boxing five years later but went on to use his public status as a way to raise awareness of the disease.
In 1997, the legendary sportsman founded the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Centre in Phoenix, Arizona, which provides comprehensive care for those living with the condition.
Following his tragic death last week, Ali’s family have decided to hold a public funeral for him on Friday (10.06.16).
The ceremony will be live streamed from the KFC Yum! Centre in Louisville, Kentucky.