ABOVE: Watch Global National’s report on Mark Correia’s “Escaping Parkinson’s” stunt.
TORONTO — Toronto teen Mark Correia got strapped into a straitjacket Tuesday morning — a straitjacket in which he plans to spend the next two weeks.
The 18-year-old magician and actor hopes to raise $25,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research by living in the straitjacket until July 22.
“This is real,” he said, as Liza Fromer of Global’s The Morning Show helped buckle him in. “No breaks. No freedom. No escape until the last minute.”
Correia has previously escaped from a straitjacket but has never spent 14 days in one.
“I don’t know anybody who has either,” he said. “I’m the first one to even attempt this.”
Correia began performing magic as a young child and pursued his passion for show business by attending the Etobicoke School of the Arts. He recently completed his first year at the National Theatre School of Canada.
“I got into acting when I saw Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future so he’s been my biggest hero and inspiration,” Correia explained.
He came up with the “Escaping Parkinson’s” stunt to honour the Canadian star, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1992.
“He sent us an email saying he is really excited about the whole thing and that it is one of the most unique ways he’s heard about raising money,” Correia said.
The teen said his parents had different reactions to the stunt.
“My mom said no,” recalled Correia. “My dad is a little crazier so he was on board with it at the beginning.”
To prepare, he spent a day in the straitjacket.
“I’ve practiced eating in it, I’ve practiced going out in public, going on the subway,” he said.
“It’s the frustration, taking half an hour to be able to do anything, and to manipulate things with my mouth.”
BELOW: Watch Mark Correia get put into a straitjacket on Global’s The Morning Show.
The public can follow his progress online and suggest tasks that he will attempt on video.
Correia said he can wash his hair and his legs but someone will have to sponge-bathe him under the jacket.
As for going to the bathroom, Correia said it’s a secret — although he allowed that urinals “are the easiest ones to use, if you use your imagination.”