HBO's unprecedented, multi-platform series The Alzheimer's Project--which includes four documentaries, 15 short films, a book, a community outreach program and a website covering every aspect of the disease--debuts on the pay-cable network Friday but locals get a sneak-peak at one of the films this evening.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, in collaboration with Acacia Adult Day Services, hosts a free screening of the project documentary Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?, which is geared toward children and young teens coping with a grandparent's illness through vignettes aimed at explaining a relative's sad, gradual decline into Alzheimer's. It begins at 6 p.m. in the H. Louis Lake Senior Center, 11300 Stanford Ave, Garden Grove. Email here to reserve a spot.
The doc features, is executive produced by and is based on the book by Maria Shriver, whose father was dianosed with the disease.
"The numbers are growing at a rate that nobody ever fathomed," California's first lady told Reuters. "As babyboomers age, it is coming right at us and we have to do something. This is an epidemic for this generation. A cure is within our reach if we focus on it, allocate the money and pressure our lawmakers. If we don't, the impact has devastating consequences."
As many as 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's and that number could mushroom to 11 million by the time Baby Boomers reach retirement age. The local screening is followed by a panel of experts explaining why the disease is the second most-feared illness in the nation behind cancer. And yet, there remains hope.
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"Despite the increasing number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease, the project is raising Americans' optimism and providing a reason to be hopeful for a cure," says Christina Sepulveda-Geiss, director of the ARCHES program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove. "Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove is eager to spread awareness of this project by equipping parents and children the resources and comfort they need in order to cope with this disease."