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Michael J. Fox takes role as advocate in Parkinson's fight

Michael J. Fox has a new role: public advocate in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

The star, whose leaves the ABC sitcom Spin City tonight, appeared at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday to urge more research funding for Parkinson's.

"My goal is to find a cure for Parkinson's in less than 10 years," Fox, 38, said as he announced the launch of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Last September, Fox appeared at a congressional hearing to push for a $75-million funding increase for work on the disease.

Earlier this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $2.7-billion increase in next year's budget for the National Institutes of Health to speed research on Parkinson's and other diseases.

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Largo, assured Fox at the news conference that the funding increase would clear Congress.

"Our commitment is as firm as we told you it was, Michael. We're dedicated to rid the human race of these terrible, terrible diseases," Young said.