Friday, November 14, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
|Finishing my speech on the "Purple" Queen Mary 11-8-2014|
|Platform Award for Alzheimer's|
Woman of Achievement
Queen Mary 11-9-2014
|Receiving a check for $500 for 1st place for speech.|
Thank you Vegan Therapy
I am thrilled I didn't do this... I put a lot of thought into how I would capture the moments, the words the feelings about what I am going to do and what I am currently doing with my Alzheimer's work, and as I lay in bed one night it came to me... "PURPLE". This is the title of my speech and you will see why. Enjoy. I am happy to say I won overall platform and I won overall speech, bringing home $500.00 cash from Vegan Therapy for my platform project "Remember My Photo". https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Therapy/455406477876775
All I can say is look out world. I am changing it one day at a time and I am a voice that is being heard.
|Showing off my "Platform" Board for Alzheimer's|
Remember My Photo
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month. In the United States, there are more than 15 million Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers. We want to send these exceptional people a big “thank you” for everything they do. Honor them by sharing your tribute message!
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
By LARRY ROHTER
On the Road With Alzheimer’s in ‘I’ll Be Me’
On the Road With Alzheimer’s in ‘I’ll Be Me’
From the very first scene, “I’ll Be Me”signals that it is not going to be a conventional documentary about a celebrity, in this case the country-pop singer and guitarist Glen Campbell. As Mr. Campbell sits in a darkened room watching home movies of his younger self, he asks his wife, Kim, “Who is that?”
“It’s you, honey,” she replies, “it’s a movie about you,” to which he, still puzzled, replies: “No kidding? I’ll be me.”
In 2011, Mr. Campbell, then 75, revealed that he had Alzheimer’s disease and announced a series of farewell concerts for that fall. So “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me,” opening Oct. 24, was conceived as a behind-the-scenes record both of that final tour and of the difficult struggle of Mr. Campbell and his family against an incurable disease that afflicts more than five million Americans.
“The more we learned about Alzheimer’s, the more we wanted to shine a light on it and the more we became aware of the potential of this movie to be a catalyst for change,” said Mrs. Campbell, a former Radio City Music Hall dancer who met the singer on a blind date in 1981. “It turned into something bigger than we had imagined.”
The original plan, said the film’s director, James Keach, was to follow Mr. Campbell on what was envisioned as a five-week tour. But that undertaking grew into 151 shows over 15 months, and Mr. Keach, operating with a very small crew, continued to tag along, even when the Campbells were at his doctor’s office or at home with family or friends.
“It was daunting, the idea of doing it, because how do you make something that is entertaining about a man with Alzheimer’s?” said Mr. Keach, who has directed episodes of numerous television shows and was also the co-producer of “Walk the Line,” the 2005 biopic about Johnny Cash. “In some ways, it’s more difficult than having a scripted movie, because there you have your structure figured out. In this case, you go from Stage 2 to Stage 4 or 5 of Alzheimer’s, and you have to be true to that.”
Mrs. Campbell also had a camera and shot events at home. The film does not emphasize moments that may be painful or embarrassing to watch, but neither does it flinch from them: Mr. Campbell is shown erupting in rage as his dementia worsens, and one discussion in his doctor’s office focuses on the singer’s difficulty in finding the toilet in hotel rooms and his own bedroom, which leads him to urinate in wastebaskets.
Mr. Keach said that one of the lessons he learned from “Walk the Line” focus groups that saw Johnny Cash consuming drugs was that “a little bit goes a long way” in showing such frailties. For her part, Mrs. Campbell said she trusted Mr. Keach to “edit and tailor the film to protect Glen’s dignity” while at the same time “telling the truth about this disease.”
In documentaries that get in so close to their subjects’ lives, especially those unable to fend for themselves, the moral issue of informed consent often arises. But in Mr. Campbell’s case, “he not only had the capacity, he had the desire” to have his situation documented, Mr. Keach said.
Mrs. Campbell added: “In the early stages of this disease, your short-term memory begins to falter, but you are still cognizant of what is going on and can still make decisions. Glen was fully aware of his diagnosis and what we were attempting to do.”
(Last month, Mr. Campbell and his management were sued by a Los Angeles-based media production company, which accused him of reneging on an agreement to make the documentary with it. In a statement issued last week, a lawyer for the film’s producers, Lisa Callif, said they do not “have any personal knowledge of the allegations set forth in the complaint.”)
The film has numerous concert sequences showing the highs and lows of Mr. Campbell’s performances as well as the compassion of audiences that knew they were getting their last glimpse of him. At the beginning of the tour, Mr. Campbell is still playing guitar fluidly, though often struggling to remember lyrics, but by the last show, in Napa, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2012, even his dexterity is suffering.
“It was almost like a game of roulette,” said Ashley Campbell, the singer’s youngest daughter, now 27, who played keyboards and banjo in the tour band, which also included her brothers Shannon and Cal. “You’d have a great show and then a difficult show, and you’d start to wonder, ‘Oh no, is this getting towards the end?’ ”
Mr. Campbell has been a part of the American musical landscape for so long that it is easy to forget that he has played many roles. As the country music stars Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban note in the film, he was instrumental in bringing their genre into the pop mainstream in the late 1960s, but before that, he was a session musician on dozens of Top 10 pop hits and even toured as a member of the Beach Boys.
“He had this overall musicality, and was born with an encyclopedic knowledge of keys,” said the songwriter Jimmy Webb, a friend since 1967 who wrote “By The Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman” and other hits for Mr. Campbell. “He’d take a scrap of paper and turn it into an arrangement, and did so many times for the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. He was more entertaining to work with than almost anyone because of the childish excitement he brought to that process.”
Films about musicians struggling with adversity, “Searching for Sugar Man” and “20 Feet from Stardom,” have won the Oscar in the feature documentary category the last two years. “I’ll Be Me” is already getting some Oscar buzz, but Mr. Keach said his film “is not a music doc, it’s about a man battling a disease and going out on the stage every night not knowing where he is.”
But the film also offers a broader examination of Alzheimer’s impact on society. In one particularly emotional scene, Ashley Campbell testifies before Congress about her father beginning to forget who she is, and in another, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell visit the House minority leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, and push for more funding for Alzheimer’s research.
The film represents an important educational opportunity, said Dr. Ronald C. Petersen of the Mayo Clinic, who diagnosed Mr. Campbell’s disease and is also chairman of a nationalAlzheimer’s advisory council. “One of our biggest struggles is still getting people to acknowledge this disease,” he added. “So we need to embrace this and say he didn’t do anything wrong in his life to bring this on, that this can happen to virtually anyone.”
Sony Pictures Classics plans to release another movie this year that should also raise Alzheimer’s awareness, the fictional feature “Still Alice.” Based on Lisa Genova’s best-selling 2007 novel of the same name, that film stars Julianne Moore as a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
“I’ll Be Me” features former President Bill Clinton talking about Mr. Campbell, a fellow Arkansan, and his courage in becoming a public face of Alzheimer’s. In addition, Bruce Springsteen, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr. Paisley and the country singer Kathy Mattea weigh in, talking about family members who suffer from the disease.
Mr. Webb also appears in the film, but he said has not yet seen it and is not sure when, or even if, he will. “It’s too personal, to be frank, too painful,” he said.
“In a very real sense, Glen the artist, the virtuoso and true master of so many aspects of musicality, in many ways that Glen is gone,” he added. “And I say that as a caress and not as a dismissal. The sense of loss is so complete that it’s difficult for me to find the words.”
By spring of this year, the disease had advanced to the point that Mr. Campbell moved into what his wife described as a “memory care community,” a long-term care and treatment facility near Nashville. She visits him daily, she said, but his musical skills and awareness are now so eroded that he is sometimes not even conscious of songs being played around him.
If he’s handed a guitar, “sometimes a melody will come out,” she said, “but often it’s very dissonant and doesn’t make sense.” She continued: “But our son Shannon was with him just the other day, and Glen just sounded out the melody for ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix.’ So I do think that music is still the most deeply embedded thing in him, and it’s a delight when it comes back.”
Mr. Webb added: “It’s a curious feeling, difficult and poignant, when you reach that tipping point in the relationship where a person no longer recognizes you. I think that’s very difficult. I really wish I could go over and see him and play some songs. Really.”
Monday, October 27, 2014
|Carmine Depiano 10-10-2014|
What is unique and beautiful about Carmine is that he is sharing his story openly. He is one of the 5 million American’s living with Alzheimer’s. Not only did Carmine speak openly in front of several hundred people that came out to do the Alzheimer’s walk he is letting me share his story and photograph him.
When he spoke on stage he made many cry. There wasn't a dry eye anywhere around as his words rang home to a lot of people sitting in the audience and I was one of them.
I asked Carmine’s wife if they would be interested in being featured on my blog. She said “Ask Carmine, I am sure he would do it.” When Carmine came off the stage, I asked him and he said yes. I gave him my card.
Not knowing if I would hear from him I was delighted when he called me a few days later to schedule our first interview at his house with him and his wife. He asked when I answered the call if I knew who is was. I said “Yes, Hi Carmine I know this is you”. He laughed. He wanted to make sure I knew it was him.
I came over to his house on a Friday after work. I was
greeted by two large dogs named: Blue & Rainy who
were really good and beyond friendly.
|(Carmine Depiano talks on the phone during our interview.)|
We sat in the dining room at his house and I shared with them why I wanted to photograph him and share his story.
Carmine is a 68 year old gentleman. He was diagnosed February of 2014 with early on-set Alzheimer's. Him and his lovely wife Suzan have been married for over 40 years. They have two sons and two grand kids. They live on there own with no help or assistants. Suzan works part time at the Washoe County Jail as a dental assistant.
Carmine is a retired Vet from the Air force where he was a weapons loader. He served over-seas in Germany. After serving for his country for three years and seven months he was honorable discharged. He spent the rest of his working career in the Trucking industry working several aspects of the trucking industry from dispatcher to supervisor. Him and his wife came to Sparks, Nevada nine years ago and it is now where they reside and call home.
Carmine joined the Alzheimer's walk after he saw and ad on tv. He felt it was something he needed to become part of after learning of his diagnosis.
|(Carmine with Blue & Rainy)|
Carmine said he came home angry and mad. "I was given a death sentence." and then he recalls a statement that rang true, "Well get over it we are all gone die." He was the first to be diagnosed in his family.
Carmine still drives right now. He is okay on the wide open road, but has difficulty driving in town. Because his wife works part time, she is not always there to help him. Her biggest worry is Carmine falling. Right now he falls about once a month. Last year Carmine took a fall in June of 2013 that was so bad he broke his jaw, some teeth and his shoulder.
|(Carmine and his wife Suzan)|
|Carmine & Suzan|
Monday, October 20, 2014
Date: Friday October 17, 2014
Place: Hollywood, Palladium
Total Raised: 1 Million!!!!
|Red Carpet, Hilarity For Charity 10/2017|
My husband and I flew into Los Angeles on a Friday afternoon. We got checked into our hotel that was only 2 building over from where the amazing fundraiser was set to take place. The guest star on stage lineup included: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sarah Silverman, Bill Burr, Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious, Kumail Nanjiani, Mayer Hawthorne and David & Leeman.
We left the hotel promptly and walked right around the corner to the red carpet. The event was surreal to me on many levels. I was there for a cause a cause that is near and dear to my heart. It was both a powerful moment for me to be a part of this amazing fundraising opportunity but to reflect on the great things I have become a part of thanks to the memory of my grandma. How she would be beaming cheek to cheek at that moment.
|Giving Maria Shriver a hug and Kiss!|
|Prom Night has Arrived!|
The red carpet was intense. My official “First” Hollywood red carpet and hopefully many more to come. It was all kind of a blur. I do recall my husband pointing out that Seth Rogan was standing right in front of us. We got to the end of the carpet and took a few funny photos with the Seth Rogan cardboard cutout. Then we decided to walk back on the red carpet 2 times. This ensuring I would be seen with my crown and sash. Rob Lowe and his lovely wife walked right behind us. Once in the Palladium, we got our wrist bands. We walked over to a photo booth to do an old fashion prom photo together. There were plenty of drinks and snacks to eat. We talked to the many others that were at this event in the prior years. They expressed their joys of why they came out to support Hilarity of Charity.. For others it was also there first time at this fundraiser. We walked into the open room of the Palladium and I saw Maria Shriver. I went up to tell her how beautiful she was. She hugged and kissed me. J Yes I have a big smile on my face. She is an advocate for Alzheimer’s.
|Seth Rogan! WOOT WOOT!|
|Reserved for BMW|
|Walking into the Hollywood, Palladium|
We than headed to the second floor balcony where our table had reserved signs on it “Reserved for Brooke Westlake-Kelley”. We decided to head over to the upstairs bar, and while there Seth Rogan came in. My husband walked over and asked if we could get a photo with him, and he said “Of Course”. We were delighted. Ate lots of food, watched an amazing group of musicians and comedian line ups and sat at our table. The joy and sadness can truly not be expressed at that moment, as I did end up getting emotional towards the end of the night. To be a part of this event to raise money for Alzheimer’s was beyond great and meaningful to me. To be there in honor of my grandma was both a great feeling but heart breaking at the same time. I hope I am able to go to this event in the future. At the end of the day helping to raise money for the cause and do it with some laughter would have made my Grandma Bev happy. That was one of our favorite things to do together.Laugh.