He may be best known as "the Fonz" on TV's "Happy Days," but actor Henry Winkler's message at Courage Center in Golden Valley Friday had little to do with his career in Hollywood.
Winkler, a director, producer and children's novelist, shared with the crowd his mother's struggles with a condition, known as upper limb spasticity. Winkler's mother acquired the debilitating condition, which results in severe muscle stiffness, after suffering a stroke in 1989.
"I watched the joy of life drip out of her, all of a sudden she just didn't care to do anything," said Winkler.
Hundreds of patients at the Courage Center now get relief from the condition thanks to a special kind of Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription injections recently, and Winkler, who serves as a spokesman for the treatment, said he wishes his mother would've been able to get relief from the treatment.
"This was not available at that time," said Winkler. "I just thought to myself, I have to go around and talk about this because what a difference would it have made in my mother's life."
Click here to watch more of the Channel 12 interview with Henry Winkler, as he describes what life is like after playing "the Fonz" on TV's Happy Days.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
Friday, September 14, 2012