May 232012
 
Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell

On Wednesday, May 16, the Alzheimer’s Association hosted “An Evening with Glen Campbell,” an event to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among members of Congress. Held at the Library of Congress, the evening honored country music legend Campbell, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, and his family.

Actress and philanthropist Jane Seymour welcomed a crowd including members of Congress, staff and their families. Seymour’s husband, James Keach, and his filmmaking partner, Trevor Albert, are making a documentary on Campbell and his family, following their battle with Alzheimer’s disease as Campbell conducts his farewell tour.

The attendees watched a brief film highlighting the state of Alzheimer’s today, revealing statistics from the recently released Alzheimer’s Association 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The film focuses on the cost of Alzheimer’s to the country, which will total a shocking $200 billion in 2012.

Harry Johns, president and CEO, Alzheimer’s Association, started the program by congratulating the assembled crowd on the release of the National Alzheimer’s Plan the day before.

“The release of the National Alzheimer’s Plan is a huge historic moment for our cause. I want thank of all the members of Congress for their support of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act,” Johns said. “Your leadership has made it possible to have a plan that creates a platform to address Alzheimer’s in America, and we truly appreciate that.”

Johns also talked about the challenge ahead, applauding Campbell and his family for their bravery as they publically face this disease.

“There are 5.4 million people today that have this disease, and because of baby boomers like me, that number is going to grow to 16 million in the next 38 years,” Johns said. “What I want to commend Glen and his family for is announcing his diagnosis and staying in the public eye. It sets a precedent and helps to advance conversation about the cause.”

Congressmen Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.), longtime co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, also spoke to the attendees, addressing recent successes in the fight against the disease and looking to the future.

“No coach goes into a big game without a strategy, and now we have a fully integrated plan with public and private stakeholders,” Smith said. “We have worked on this for a long time.”

“These families at home, they are heroes. But heroes need help,” Markey added. “You’ve heard the numbers. We have to give them hope.”

Dr. Ron Petersen, director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and a member of the National Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Disease, gave an update on scientific progress in the field and the ways in which the National Alzheimer’s Plan will help to advance that research.

“Now we have a blueprint, a roadmap, for how we are actually going to get to a cure for this disease,” said Petersen. “The charge is back to us, the charge is back to Congress. I think we’ve done part of the work, but in another sense the work has just begun.”

After Petersen’s remarks, Campbell’s daughter Ashley took to the stage to introduce a sneak preview of the documentary focusing on her father’s farewell tour. She and her brothers, Shannon and Cal, are members of Campbell’s band and travel with him; Campbell’s wife, Kim, is his primary caregiver.

“We decided to go on a farewell tour with him to keep his struggle public,” she said. “We didn’t want people to think they were going through this alone. This isn’t a disease that just affects the person living with it — it affects their entire family.”

After a sneak preview of the documentary, Campbell took to the stage and received a standing ovation. Moving around with the microphone in hand, he was at ease, joking with the crowd and teasing his children. He drew repeated thunderous applause as he displayed his skill with the guitar, performing favorites such as “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”

Ashley and her family feel that performing is helping Campbell to face his disease and its symptoms.

“We’ve seen music as a form of therapy on this tour. He seems to be happier, to do better with his memory,” she said. “Happiness is the non-medical medicine.”

Throughout the evening, Campbell reinforced this observation, frequently telling the crowd, “I’m a happy, happy man. Do you want to hear some more?”

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  53 Responses to “Glen Campbell Sings to Congress, Keeps Alzheimer’s in the Public Eye”

  1. I am so glad that we have someone who will stand up in Congress and tell them what the Baby Boomers will have ahead of them. My mother has Alzheimers, when she first got it their was no one up to bat for these people who have lost themselves to this terrible diease. My father is a hero for taking care of her. It too had taken a toll on him. He lost his whole world, but never lost his love for my mother. I can't thank Glen Cambell to help the people that are suffering, the person with Alzheimers, spouses and children. This is a horrible diease which I hope they find a cure very soon, this county is going to need it. Thank you Glen Cambell my hat is off to you.

  2. I hope pray that a cure for Alzheimer's Disease will become a reality soon. My father died in 2001, at age 90, after being diagnosed in 1987. It was a long struggle for us, his family, as well as for him. Thank you, Glen Campbell for promoting ore awareness of the new facts released concerning that unrelenting disease.

  3. Bravo, Mr. Campbell!

  4. I have ALZ for 4 years now, and I am 55 yrs old. I don't like it, but do what I can for animals, and the environment; plus it gets me some exercize as well.

    • I was diagnosed in January and I will be fifty in October.

    • Hello Jan, My husband is 55 yrs old and has severe ALZ, he can no longer write, nor read. You are doing great by just being able to write and care for animals. I truly believe every case is different. My husband needs 24/7 care.

  5. Thank you Mr. Campbell for continuing to share you talent as well as sharing how Alzheimers is a struggle for the one who has it and their family , friends and caretakers. From watching how my husband responds to music programs – he is the happpiest when singing, tapping his feet, swaying to the music.

  6. It is wonderful to see you out there doing what you love!! Thank You so very much for helping with the awareness of this disease!

  7. I think Glen Campbell would be a wonderful Ambassador for the Alzheimers cause. He's a class act, a great singer, and would be a great poster/ personality to help the Alzheimers cause.____I,m retired, and have Alzheimers. I'd like to help the cause if I can… John E Johnson, Las Vegas NV.

  8. Kudos to Glen Campbell's family…Glen is very fortunate to have a strong network of people who love and care for him.

  9. Watching his concert in Houston was wonderful??! He sometimes forgot the words to the songs, but playing the guitar ? ……He was still truly awesome
    Glen's progression is much like my father's and I am thankful he is working on raising awareness!!! He continues to be an amazing man!

    • Alheimers disease is an exercise in discouragement and pain as well as in tiny victories. When you get them, it is a breakthrough.

      Mr. Campbell's courage is alone, a thing of wonder and to be celebrated. I hope we can all remember that as we watch our loved ones in decline. They deserve encouragement, patience and love. Nothing but.

      PS- I'm flying across the country to see his last performance. Even if he can't remember a song, it will be a triumph. Get it?

  10. My Husband and I were fortunate to See and Hear Glen Campbell three blessed times on this Tour. We were so happy to meet him Backstage and he was so kind and made a wonderful impression on us both.
    Glen is the reason that my Husband picked up a Guitar as a Child watching the "Good Time Hour" with His Father.
    He Toured with Many National Bands and He was able to Shake Glen's Hand and tell him "Thanks" :)
    We All Love You Glen and Your Beautiful Family!!!!

  11. Hate this for anyone to have to suffer with this disease. My Grand Mother passed from it as Well, now her daughter has it also. I’ve lost my Mom and Aunt from Cancer and seen others pass, and the ONLY good thing I can see in Alzheimer’s is that since your memories gone and you live in the past, then you never really know when you pass. My Mother and Aunt anguished in severe pain and knew their own demise as Alzheimer’s patients do not. But that in NO WAY is saying that this disease isn’t vicious because definitely it is. But So very sorry anyone should have to suffer from any of these horrible diseases.

  12. Hooray for Glen for going public in such a productive way. Has a video been made of this special performance that we can send for?

  13. Your music is a balm to the soul. In times of confusion and anxiousness, music quiets me so that I can hear the voice of my Lord speaking to me.

  14. I have been slowly making a difference for this cause and starting to get some momentum with the help of people like you.
    Please add it to your face book, websites and twitter.
    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/05/15/healt
    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/21/alzheime

  15. It would be wonderful to finally find a cure for this disease, my mother and father both in their late lives were affected by this disease, father was the worst and had it much longer then my mother. So the association asked me who was going to take care of me as in my 70s now and since it is kind of a pass along disease I guess I stand a good chance of being affected. Both of my parents care givers, (nursing homes with the expertise to care for patients with dementia) were fantastic and I take my hat off to them as well as everyone doing whatever they can to come up with a cure. There came a time we had to put my parents under professional care but prior to that the effect on my family was heart rendering. Glen Campbell you are a jewel and God Bless you and yours.

  16. I have a dear friend who has Alzheimer's Disease and I just hate what it is doing to her and her family., I may be wrong, but I think that this is what people used to call someone's "second childhood"…it is a terrible thing to have to watch on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.. The hardest part , as far as the caregiver, or other family and friends are concerned, is watching their loved one(s) change into someone who is a complete stranger, and losing the "real" friend, family member, or "love of their life". I know very little about Alzheimer's Disease, and how it functions and progresses but I intend to learn everything that I can, and I think everybody should do the same, because the numbers don't lie….someone in everyone's life , be it family or friend, will end up with this horrible disease. I want to thank Mr. Campbell and his family for "daring to share" what is happening to Mr. Campbell, who is such a beloved entertainer. They all need our thoughts , prayers, and support as they have to travel down this unwanted and unchosen path they must take

  17. I am 48 years old and I have been diagnosed as having early onset of Alzheimer’s. I want to thank Mr. Campbell for having the courage to go public with his diagnosis. He gave me the courage to accept my situation and make the best of my life.

    • DId anyone in your family, ie grandparents or parents, have this horrible disease? I am also 48, my mother passed away from Alzhiemers in November 2010. I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis :-(

  18. So glad that this will help bring more attention to a disease that is so horrible. Thanks to the Campbell family, more people may better realize the effects on the loved ones.

  19. Hi Glen, I remember the good times at the Lakeside Golf Club, where I managed the Golf Shop and you played Golf . I treasure the picture with you , Efrim Z. and me. My husband has Alzheimer and I am his Caregiver. I am so proud of you. Many blessings to you and your family,
    Kathy Gassen

  20. Hey Kim Cal and Ashley!

    Great news on you quest to create more awareness for AD with your dad! I am currently shooting a documentary on AD myself and would love to shoot your family! I started already shooting my dad who has been diagnosed with AD a couple of years now!
    I'm in NY now but you can reach me through my email to talk further about this!
    Hope all else is great!
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,

    Giancarlo Lorusso
    giancarlo.lorusso@gmail.com

  21. Having just lost my Precious Momma to this devastating disease, I have an idea of what the Campbell's are going through on a daily basis. Kudos for them on their walk…it's not an easy one! ~ It's heart wrenching to read the comments of the "young" ones who have been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. So sad!
    ~ IF I am ever diagnosed, well, let me be a human guinea pig for the drugs that may eventually "stay" or control this dastardly disease.
    Peace & Love to All, especially those who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, in one way or another.

  22. I am so happy Glen Campbell, stood up for us , My husband has it his mother passed with it, I was caregiver and am to my husband, we can't go on vacations, that is involved in driving, I have minor health issues. It would be easy to be in a pity party, but that gets no where. Pray Pray pray.

  23. Glen Campbell is appearing here in LA at the Hollywood Bowl. Why not do a member/volunteer evening? Could be great fundraiser. I could help plan

  24. THANK YOU for bring attention to this gut wrenching disease . Our mother has been struggling with this disease since 2006. Every day it takes and takes from her. She no longer talks, feeds herself or can do any personnel cares for herself. She is no longer able to walk or bear weight.My only hope is that she feels and knows that we love her. Our father has died a slow death just being with her also.He has also gone down hill with her. Please find a cure for this terrible disease. It has taken all of us down.

  25. Both my wife an I are 86 years old and just celebrated our 68 year of our marriage and loving each other like the day we married May of 1944. She has ALZ. Although it is taking it's toll on her she listens daily to country music, and to Glenn Cambell. It is with out a doubt a unkind disease. Glenn you will be in our prayers. God bless all of those that are suffering from this night mare. Keep up the good fight. My wife is…. thank God.

  26. My Father died two years ago this month. He had Alzheimer disease among other disorders. I'm glad that Glen Campbell and his family are facing this terrible disease head on. Alzheimer disease is terrible, because it makes people that have been so responsible and productive all their lives and makes them so dependent and almost helpless ultimately. I hope that the public will realize the seriousness of this disorder and rally around our representatives, senators etc to make getting this issue much more at the forefront so there will be monies for research etc.

  27. I saw Glen Campbell on television playing on stage recently with his family, he is still so amazing quite an inspiration to us all. He has a courageous battle ahead of him and I send my thoughts and prays to him and his family, it is not going to be easy . . . I hope he can continue to play his music until the end since that is what will bring him peace . . . God Bless . . . :)

  28. Glen gave us a signed guitar pick when we met him getting off the elevator after his Iowa performance. He is a GREAT
    Ambassador for ALZ. He introduced his family, as they were performing with him then.also. 2010 was b/4 this Farewell Tour was cifirmed in our Newspapers.
    My father passed at 88 with dementia, it bothered him immensely and prefaced all coversations with I can't remember… "PRAISE THE LORD" to quote GLEN

  29. It will be a great day when there is finally a cure for Alzheimers. My father had a 'double whammy' with Parkinson's and Alzheimers. I believe that the symptoms of the Parkinsons may well have delayed the actual diagnosis of Alzheimers, as it seemed to be a long time before the doctors could make up their minds as to what his condition(s) really was. It does affect the family as well. We were fortunate, my mother was able to get some help, but it still took quite a toll on her. I deeply admire the bravery of Glen Campbell and his family. May God bless all of them!!

  30. I have taken care of a man for the past 4 years that has Alzheimer's. He is 86 years old. My Momma & Granny helped me on the weekends. About a year ago the unthinkable happened my Grand-Mother was diagnosed with Dementia. Unreal is all I could think. So now my Momma is taking care of her full time. Mom and Granny have lived together for many years. But this is very hard on Momma. She never complains but you can see how tired she is sometimes. It's awesome that Glen Campbell is so kind to share this with all of us. You will never know how much you are helping someone that is reading this blog!! But trust me when Alzheimer's &/or Dementia hits a family it shatters dreams, hopes well really your life. Nothing is never the same again. So if you know anyone that this disease has hit there family just offer help. They probably want take any help but just knowing your not alone is great.

  31. My mother died with aiz. In 2009 she was 78 yrs old. It is a alfull disease. She got bad riden.and didn't know her children, or husband. We took care of her at home. This is the sads thing in the world. To watch your mama go thur this. And u can't cure her. And her baby sister died in 2012 , with it to she was 77 yrs old. All you can do is pray, and take great care of them. And show thim all the love you have for them.i,m having a hard time still losing my mama she was the best. I loved her dearly.

  32. I LOVE YOU, GLEN CAMPBELL. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR

    FAMILY AND THANK YOU. XX

  33. God Bless you, dear Wichita Lineman. And my longtime best friend Kitty, now in her late 80's has lost nearly all memory of our friendship, and her life prior to Alzheimer's. I have elected myself "archivist" and memory keeper. And every day, I recall an incident where we laughed together, had a nice chat, or maybe even just spent an afternoon, walking around our neighborhood, taking care of the small chores. Cherish the memories, everyone. And love your loved ones, and remember FOR them..every time the chance arises. It is a blessing for you all, as you face down this challenge with courage and kindness.

  34. Music is therapy. I'm a cancer survivor who's been lucky enough to have an amazing music therapist, and I'm trying to get one for (my) Mom, who's fighting Alz.

  35. Way to go Glen!!! My mother has been a number one fan of yours for decades – I grew up with the Good TimeHour and have seen you in concert several times! She too suffers from this terrible disease and would be so very proud of you and your family for making this journey public. You open doors for so many, giving them courage to go on! You have my utmost admiration and I think perhaps your greatest legacy will be your courage and strength in facing this demon publicly
    !!!

  36. My husband has all the symptoms of Alzheimers/dementia. I wish the medical community would learn more about this ugly illness as none of the doctors will give me a diagnosis. Glen, I have been a fan of yours and have loved the joy you have given to everyone over the years. Congratulations for the energy and guts to share this joy as long as you can. It can be a very lonely disease and you are proof that it doesn't have to be. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing in spreading the news about Alzheimers and showing people there still can be joy in their life. GOD BLESS

  37. My Grandmother (my mother's mother) died at age 67 (fairly young) of Alz, my mother is 80 and has Alz and I am her caregiver. I am 60 and 5 yrs ago in 2007 I was diagnosed as being in the early stage of Alz. Sort of like the blind leading the blind, however, my mother's is much more advanced than mine, however, I feel the symptoms and the progression of the disease on a daily basis and it's a confusing disease. My heart goes out to all who have been diagnosed or is suffering from Alz but especially the family…the loved one with the disease ultimately becomes unaware of their suffering but the family is always aware and truly suffers mentally and emotionally constantly, which all too often affects their physical health. Blessings, Love and Light to Everyone!

  38. Dear Glen,

    Thank you for all you are doing & Your family too. I am the caregiver for my husband Terry, who is 78 yrs old & was diagnosed with Alz. 8 yrs. ago. I am just thanking the Lord that he is still able to drive & take care of himself. I know it is because of the good Lord & the prayers of my faithful Christian friends & Pastor. Alsp because of Terry's strong faith. All our love & prayers go with you & your family.

    Patty Christiansen

  39. My Dad passed away 2 yrs ago and had dementia which made his health even worse for he forgot to take meds, would ofton go to the atm 3 times a day forgetting he had gone, was ripped off by the car repair shop in town. Its a terrible disease to watch someone you admired and loved slowly go away.
    Dad loved to listen to Glen Campbell, they are about the same age and Dad was from Arkansas like Glen. Good to see Glen doing well and getting support. Hope it raises awareness and research.
    Also Glen will never forget you Starring with John Wayne in True Grit. People forget he starred with John Wayne.

  40. Here's a link to the touching review of his concert in Jacksonville on this tour. My father has this disease, and while it's been difficult for my him, it's been hardest on my mother who is his caregiver. I really wish there was more support for the caregivers at home – they need it the most. http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-03-26/sto

  41. I live with my Mom with Altzheimers 24/7 and the music does help! Bless you for what you are doing!

  42. Alzheimers is reversible, but it is difficult. The earlier you start the better. Read Dr. Sherry Rogers books and other environmental doctors. My mom has it and we are helping her with many brain nutrients. Information is power. Get informed. Unfortunately conventional medicine is not much help. Drugs only help a year or so.

  43. Thank you so much for what you are doing. My husband of 38 yrs. passed away last October at the age of 58. We struggled with the disease for six yrs. Music was therapy for both of us. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  44. Hats off to Glen Campbell and family for his & their courage in making their personal struggle with ALZ public. Mr. Campbell should continue to make music for as long as it continues to make him happy!

    To Donna Oates (and others who may believe in similar fairy tales): Alzheimer disease is NOT reversible – please stop deluding yourself and your family, but especially others who struggle with Alzheimer disease, that anyone currently has the "magic treatment" for it! I am NOT a physician nor do I work for a drug company, but I do know how good science is conducted. If these "brain nutrients" really were sufficient to reverse the effects of Alzheimer disease, and their "discoverers" were truly interested in helping people affected by Alzheimer disease, why not publish such incredible results in reputable journals where their findings can be reviewed for their scientific merit and replicated by other researchers? The simple answer is because the results CAN'T be replicated by researchers who have no affiliation with the people making these claims. Anyone can make whatever claims he or she wish to make in books, because books aren't normally reviewed prior to publication by other doctors or scientists. Anyone in health care who stands to make money by claiming proprietary knowledge of a special treatment or cure, who guarantees results, and/or who won't publish his or her results in creditable journals should be suspect.

  45. My mother is permanently is a nursing home going through the final stages of Alzheimers disease. I have a full time job as a teacher which is stressful in and of itself plus the primary caretaker for my mother. My so called days off are not a vacation. My life consists of ambulances, emergency rooms. hospitals, intensive care, going back and forth to the nursing home, phone calls to the nursing home, having to clean out my mother's apt. on weekends and then closing it down with the management, storage, having to buy other tops for my mother so that procedures can be done, as well as other clothes, dealing with with forgotten bills, my own health problems and my weight gain of 30 pounds over the last 3 years. Trying to eat right is nearly impossible when I'm always on the move. I communicate with family and friends via e-mail because I have zero time to talk to anyone over the phone. I could mention a whole lot more but I'm doing the best that I can.

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