The Rev. Jesse Jackson has Parkinson's disease, he announced in a letterto friends and supporters Friday. 

The civil rights leader opens the letter by recounting the 1960 arrest that started his activist journey and noting that God has "protected me and my family from dangers, seen and unseen" throughout that journey. 

"Now in the latter years of my life, at 76 years old, I find it increasingly difficult to perform routine tasks, and getting around is more of a challenge," he writes, per NBC Chicago. He says the symptoms began about three years ago, and he finally decided to see doctors, who diagnosed him with Parkinson's. Per a statement provided to USA Today, Jackson was diagnosed in 2015.

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