Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My Alzheimer's Advocates Story

MY ALZHEIMER'S ADVOCATES STORY                                                 March 24, 2015

My father died two years before his body died.
Alzheimer's robbed him of his participation in the world, robbed him of his love for his daughter and grandchildren and robbed him of his dignity and independence.
 In order to cope with caring for him and finding places to get help, I had to take a reporter's attitude and stand back from the situation so I could clearly see what was going on. I had to put my emotions aside to watch my father slip away, little-by-little every day.  That way I could make the tough decisions of what care center to put him in and where the money to do that would come from. That way, I could talk to a man I no longer knew and who no longer knew me.
Only when I saw him lying in his bed in the last nursing home, looking like he was asleep but knowing that he was not, did I let my strength drop and cry.
When I heard about the Alzheimer's Advocates going to Washington, D.C. to lobby for resources to help scientists find the cause, treatment and cure for the disease. something clicked for me.
My Daddy was always an activist. Most of the work he did was behind the scenes, but because of the causes he took up and the people he helped, things happened. I think my father was whispering in my ear: "get up and get busy".
For him... for my children... maybe even for me, I put on the purple sash and got involved. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Little Advice Needed...

I'm not sure if I am going at this the right/best way, but when I wake up in the morning and all I can think about is "what do I have to do today to move the documentary project forward" I guess I'm on the right track.

"Kaukauna & King: 50 Years Later" has been bouncing around in my mind for, oh... 50 years. Early i 2016, I found the student newspaper, The King's Page that I saved since 1966 and realized that it had been 50 years since this event took place.  I have been obsessed with doing a documentary film about the exchange ever since.

My former news director once wrote an article of advice for potential employers who considered hiring journalists for other professions. One of the reasons she pointed out was that journalists don't quit when they are in pursuit of a story. Here is what Jill Geisler wrote:

8. Journalists have a great work ethic. If you've ever complained that your team has a 9-to-5 approach to the job, hire a journalist. Some may think they're crazy, but they've often followed stories, not schedules. They've dropped everything for breaking news. They've gotten up in the middle of the night to catch a perfect picture of the moon or listen to a source who could talk only in darkness. They took on the work of laid-off colleagues while still doing their own, for as long as they could. And they still have energy.

I have been plugging away at this project  7 days a week since about March (I don't remember the exact day I started... should have checked that fact) and it occupies my mind for about 12 hours a day.

Don't get me wrong, I am not bragging just explaining how this project has consumed me. 

Right now I am struggling with the hardest part, so far... finding funding to make this obsession  become reality. And, like all other journalists, I'm not giving up until it's finished.

Stay tuned .