Sign up for AARP's The Daily newsletter for more great tips Monday through Friday.
by David Dudley, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2010 issue
When Yolanda "Lonnie" Ali married the most famous athlete in the world in 1986, she didn't know much about the degenerative neurological condition that was just beginning to seize the body of then 44-year-old Muhammad Ali. Since that time, the effects of Parkinson's disease have steadily stolen the former heavyweight champion's physical abilities, leaving his fourth wife in the difficult multiple roles of partner, caregiver, and public voice for more research into the disease. "I didn't take it on as 'our illness,' " says Ali, 53. "Better to externalize it and make it into something more positive." The serene and scholarly Ali may be less loquacious than her husband was in his prime, but she is no less determined: her advocacy efforts helped spawn the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, and she has testified before Congress on behalf of the National Parkinson Foundation.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Learn about isolation and how you can make a difference
Rate bonus on high-yield online savings account
This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at