Former Happy Days star Henry Winkler is speaking out about the heath benefits of Botox injections, insisting the medication could have given his late mother a better quality of life after she suffered a stroke.
The actor has joined forces with Botox manufacturer Allergan, Inc. and a coalition of five national patient advocacy organisations, including National Stroke Association and the Brain Injury Association of America to launch a new awareness programme.
Winkler says he signed up as the ambassador for the Open Arms when he learned of the benefits of Botox - and realised the neurotoxic protein was more than just a cosmetic aid to remove wrinkles and frowns.
He explains, "My mother had a stroke in 1989 and she died in 1997 and this new therapeutic use of Botox for upper limb spasticity was not available to her. I know that if it was it would have given her hope back.
"The hardest thing was to watch the joy and the joie de vivre leave; she was a very active woman and all of a sudden it was just like the brakes were put on and never taken off. That was really, really difficult.
"Now, with the openarmscampaign.com, people can find out whether or not they are the perfect candidate for this new therapeutic use of Botox... It's like a gift to the world. It's just a game changer, I believe."
Winkler reveals he has seen what can be achieved when stroke sufferers are injected with therapeutic Botox - and it has "changed their lives".
He adds, "I have met many patients. We were all brought together in New York City. I met a 37-year-old lady from Dallas, Texas who had a stroke a year ago on Valentine's Day and had two rounds of the therapeutic use of Botox and she said not only could she help pull on her own pants but she could reach out her arms and embrace her daughters for the first time.
"If that is the truth and I see that with my own eyes it's really important to look into this therapy."