Unusual, But Good

Last week was an unusual week.  Not bad, just different in positive ways, actually.  Monday we went to the local university, not for testing this time but to be interviewed for a new story.  On Friday we would be participating, for the second time, in a panel discussion at an Alzheimer’s conference.  We were one of three interviews being conducted at the university to promote the conference.  We were with the news crew for about 45 minutes, and were interviewed for about 30  minutes of that time.  That evening, we were on the news!  According to the reporter we were 20 seconds of the two minute story.  During the 20 seconds, I brushed my hair off my face (we were outside and there was a breeze), Steve said one sentence, and we think his Mickey Mouse watch received the most coverage.  Within minutes, a friend called and said we looked great and Steve sounded wonderful!  We were relieved that we weren’t shown more, and even our son liked it.

The cameraman and reporter were interested in doing more of a story about Steve, and wanted to film him at school, painting, the next day.  Fortunately we did not hear from the reporter because we did contact the school, and they would not give permission for the filming because they said they did not have enough advance notice.

Wednesday morning about 10:45 the reporter called and said she wanted to do another, two minute story about Steve.  She wanted to know if they could come to the house in about an hour and film Steve for the story.  They would not need to interview him.  We said that was fine, and then made sure the house was picked up.  About 11:30 the reporter called back and said they couldn’t get a camera crew out to our house until closer to 1:00.  (FYI, a “crew” equalled one person with a big news van and equipment.) That was nice as it allowed time for me to fix lunch and get everything cleaned up.

The cameraman filmed Steve in the garage working on a project.  He is making Small World boats to be used as centerpieces at a holiday luncheon.  The reporter asked for a variety of information about Steve, which I was able to provide to her. Finally about 2:15 they finished with us and left to edit their work.

We were told the story would be on between 5:30 and 6:00 that evening.  Over the next three hours we received an e-mail and a phone call telling us the story wouldn’t run, and then an e-mail telling us it would.  We tuned it just in case which turned out to be good since they ran the story.

They did a very good job with Steve’s story.  Our son did question why they filmed so much in the garage, and I wondered why they didn’t have me move the car, but that’s the worst thing I can say.  The e-mails started shortly after the story aired.  As e-mails and phone calls continued for a few days, I realized that sharing Steve’s story this way would make it easy for me to tell those who don’t know the situation.  I had e-mailed people about our participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and this would explain why we were walking.

The purpose of the stories was to publicize the conference.  It did the job!  We heard there were 50 walk-ins that morning; a record!  When we spoke as part of the panel, we addressed a crowd of about 550 people.  The presentation was well received.

When the phone rang Saturday morning, we found out the story was being rebroadcast right after coverage of the shuttle landing in Los Angeles.  I went to the pharmacy for one of Steve’s prescriptions, and after making my purchase, the pharmacy clerk said, “I say you on TV this morning!”  He was very excited and started asking me about our involvement with the university and the conference.  Since Steve never goes to the pharmacy, the pharmacy employee liked being able to put a face to the prescriptions.

At Denise’s request, I am including a link to the two minute story about Steve.


Profile photo of G-J

About G-J

I am a caregiver for my 59-year-old husband, Steve, who was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in December 2009. His employer put him on disability and he had to retire one year later when he couldn't return to work. I am also the mother to our son who is now a high school senior. We have a cat, Sagwa, who rounds out our family. In addition to blogging here, I volunteer at my son's high school in the scholarship office, teach a class I created called, "Keep Your Brain Buff" at our city's Senior Center, lead a writing group at the Alzheimer's Association, and advocate for people with all types of dementia. In November, I will be participating in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

6 thoughts on “Unusual, But Good

  1. Profile photo of Bette

    Hi G-J,

    Thank you for sharing this. Both Steve and you did a wonderful job – getting the word out in this way and in speaking. I think it’s great to see Steve’s winning attitude. He gets this from a very supportive wife and caregiver. (:

  2. Profile photo of TrishTrish

    G-J, You both did such a wonderful job! Steve really conveys his conviction and determination in the interview. Both of you are such wonderful advocates which is a great example for your son. Don’t you love how organized the television crews are? Everything seems to be done by the seat of their pants! I would be very stressed out if I did that for a living. :-)

  3. Profile photo of DeniseDenise

    Hi G-J–This is just awesome. Steve looks soooo natural in front of the camera. I have a feeling that this is only the beginning for your TV appearances.

    It’s soooo inspiring how much you do to share and help others. I love it!!!

  4. kristin

    Hi G-J, I am glad you and Steve got this opportunity to spread the word and put a face on something people so often refuse to acknowledge is a possibility for us all. You were both wonderful – what a great team!


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