updated 09/08/2008 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/08/2008 AT 11:40 AM ET
Ryan Reynolds is lacing up his running shoes and joining the fight against Parkinson’s disease.
The actor, whose father suffers from the disease, will run the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 2 as the first celebrity chair of Team Fox, the fundraising arm of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
“I am proud to be a part of this team of dedicated and motivated people who are getting out there and making a difference,” Reynolds, 31, said in a statement.
Founded in 2000 by Michael J. Fox, who is afflicted with Parkinson’s, the organization to date has raised more than $126 million in support of finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Fox, who went public with his condition in 1998 (with an announcement to PEOPLE), is welcoming Reynolds to the team with open arms.
“We’re truly grateful to Ryan for joining Team Fox and for being a part of this fight,” Fox, 47, said in his own statement. “Team Fox means so much to me and to everyone at MJFF. It’s at the heart of what we’re about – making a difference in the millions of lives touched by Parkinson’s disease. We’re thrilled that Ryan is now officially a member of our team.”
After running the marathon, Reynolds, who is currently engaged to Scarlett Johansson, 23, will turn his attention to the release of his latest film, November’s Fireflies in the Garden, with Julia Roberts.