Julianne Moore’s Oscar win shines light on Alzheimer’s Disease

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photo credit: Variety

The Academy Awards did a lot for the Alzheimer’s community last night. Leading up to the big awards show, there was plenty of buzz from the Golden Globes to the SAG Awards, on Julianne Moore’s performance in Still Alice; a movie about a renowned professor’s battle and journey with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Lisa Genova. Still Alice, many of us hoped would instill conversation and action to find a cure and bring awareness to this disease.

Well conversations started, and Moore scored the win for her performance as Alice. She has given many great performances, stretching herself in roles that ranged from playing a lesbian mother in The Kids are Alright to introducing herself to younger audiences as President Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1; but her first Oscar win comes from playing a woman with Alzheimer’s, a most stigmatized and non-curable disease….how about that!

As Moore’s name was announced I couldn’t help but tear up. Her win was a win for us all. For those with Alzheimer’s and those caring for loved ones with the disease. Her work was our win, our hope that finally Alzheimer’s is getting it’s due, it’s grace, it’s notice and as she said it’s shine.

As Moore said in her acceptance speech, “I am happy, thrilled actually that we were able to shine some light on Alzheimer’s disease.”

I believe this win gives people the permission to talk about Alzheimer’s freely and not just behind closed doors. This Oscar win says I see your great performance and I bring attention to what so many people are dealing with every day.

Well at least that’s what I hear.  Those who are advocates already had the torch lit, this new light gives us more fuel for the fire. It’s time to take more than our 15 minutes. Because the facts are someone gets Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds. A woman in her 60’s is twice as likely to get it as she is to get breast cancer. Women make up 65 percent of all those who get Alzheimer’s and they’re nearly two-thirds of all the caregivers in this country. And Alzheimer is the sixth leading cause of death and the only one without a cure.

If you would like to know more about Alzheimer’s or lend your support visit the following sites and blogs:

Alzheimer’s Associate at http://www.alz.org/

Join in support, and join Shonda Rhymes and Lauren Miller and sign up for the “My Brain Matters” campaign, go here: https://mybrain.alz.org/still-alice.asp?_ga=1.209845781.1299170632.1414167853

Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s campaign here: http://wipeoutalzheimers.org/

Leeza Gibbons Care Connections: http://www.leezascareconnection.org/

The Purple Elephant: http://thepurpleelephant.org/

Kristen Cusato: http://www.kristencusato.com/

Hilgos Foundation: https://irememberbetterwhenipaint.wordpress.com/about/

Memory Ball: http://memoryball.org/

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A Note to Caregivers From Leeza Gibbons

leeza-gibbons This is a previous post that Leeza wrote for Confessions. After her win on Celebrity Apprentice, I figured it would be great to share again with my readers.

Leeza’s words:

How are you? Thanks so much for your advocacy in the Alzheimer’s community (and for your Twitter support!)….I thought maybe I would provide this little tidbit…for your blog. Again, we are all appreciative of your voice! Thanks Pamela!

“Especially during the busy holidays when stressors are maxed out, caregivers need to find their “sanity sanctuaries”. These are the places, people or things that bring you back to calmness and control. They are non-negotiable. For me it’s a five minute walk, a cup of coffee away from the phone and computer, my bath at night. Come up with your list and protect if fiercely. Figure out what you can do to mitigate that dreaded sense of overwhelm that you know is coming and plan for it. Remember that you can change your psychology by changing your energy through purposeful breathing. So slow things down with 10 deep breaths which can lower your heart rate, pump some oxygen to your brain, lower your blood pressure and put you back in control of your thoughts. THAT is the only thing we can control anyway, right? Why not release the rest? Show up, do your best, let go of the rest! Know that even if you get off track, your Sanity Sanctuaries are always there for you to reclaim yourself and move forward”

Ever Forward,

Leeza

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Leeza Gibbons Wins Celebrity Apprentice

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I would like to give a HUGE Congratulations to Leeza Gibbons for winning Celebrity Apprentice. She out raised Geraldo Rivera in funds for her charity Leeza’s Care Connection (formerly Leeza’s Place.)

Anyone, any caregiver in the trenches knows her name….or should. While she was already an acclaimed TV Personality, host, news reporter, entrepreneur and author, like many of us Alzheimer’s choosing her mother put another call in for her voice. And her voice and action it got!!

Like Leeza, my work for Alzheimer’s awareness has led me to also be a Champion & voice for caregivers. And I thank Leeza for the encouragement, support & voice she has given to me & my blog.

Thank you Leeza for all that do, for being an Alzheimer’s & Caregiver’s champion and Congratulations on your win!

 

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Julianne Moore’s win for Still Alice is a win for Alzheimer’s Awareness

JM Win

Last night I was watching the Golden Globes and going back and forth as I do after a while, making sure to catch some of the most talked about categories; what a great surprise it was to see Julianne Moore walked away with the WIN for Best Actress in Motion Picture, Drama category “Still Alice”!

What an uphill battle Alzheimer’s awareness seems to face. While many do not want to touch the topic, even the book’s author Lisa Genova said when she was shopping her book, she was told no one wants to read about Alzheimer’s, hence why she self-published. Thankfully Genova, Westmoreland, Glatzer, and Sony Classic weren’t afraid to touch Alz. This is a win for Moore and for Alzheimer’s!

One thing the GG’s showed, at least to me, the winners of films and TV shows are ones taking on current topics that were once I dare say taboo to discuss. Topics that many families and people are dealing with in silence. What a night for Alzheimer’s and the LGBT community!

Getting back to the fabulous Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” opens this coming Friday, January 16th. Even if the movie wasn’t about what I’m championing for, I would see it anyway. I am a fan of Moore’s work and any character she portrays she takes on with such a fervor, that even if she didn’t win the award, I’d know she’d knock this role out of the park!

Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Lisa Genova, in Still Alice, Moore plays Dr. Alice Howland, a renowned Columbia University linguistics professor, happily married with three grown children, who starts to forget words and diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. As her condition progresses, Alice and her family find their bonds tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Written and directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, the Sony Picture Classic film costars Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart. Moore’s performance was already receiving critical raves leading up to her Globes win and there is even Oscar buzz.

Speaking backstage after her win, Moore said she was most inspired by her “Still Alice” character’s push to remain present.

“This is a woman who chooses to inhabit her life no matter what her life is,” the actress said. “Not get ahead of it, not get behind it. But try to be in it. That to me is truly beautiful. That’s really all we have.”

And to those in the trenches now, as Moore’s character says, all you can do is “live in the moment”, “just live in the moment.”

“Still Alice” opens nationwide on Friday, January 16th.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.

To learn more about Lisa Genova visit her website at www.lisagenova.com.

Lets work together to #ENDALZ

Pamela

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