METROFOCUS: NOVEMBER 12, 2019

November 13, 2019 at 5:30 am

Over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Now, Maria Shriver, one of the nation’s most vocal advocates against the disease, will shares the story of her fight against the illness that afflicted her late father, Robert Sargent Shriver. A little over one year after Matthew Shepard was finally laid to rest, the Washington National Cathedral and the Matthew Shepard Foundation are dedicating a plaque in his honor. His parents Judy and Dennis will join us to remember their son.

Aired on November 12, 2019.

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>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS,"
ENDING ALZHEIMER'S.
JUST UNDER 500 MILLION AMERICANS
SUFFER FROM ALZHEIMER'S.
NOW MARIA SHRIVER SHARES THE
STORY OF THE ILLNESS THAT
AFLEKTED HER FATHER.
IT'S BEEN MORE THAN 20 YEARS
SINCE MATTHEW SHEPHERD WAS
MURDERED FOR BEING GAY.
HIS PARENTS WARN THAT THERE IS
STILL MUCH MORE TO BE DONE.
JUDY AND DENNIS SHEPHERD JOIN US
TO TALK ABOUT THEIR SON AND TALK
ABOUT ENDING HATE IN AMERICA.
THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS
"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.
>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH
RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND
JENNA FLANAGAN.
"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND
EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA
A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND IRENE
SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE
ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --
>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
WHEN PRESIDENTEN RONALD REAGAN
DESIGNATED NOVEMBER AS
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, THERE WERE
2 MILLION PEOPLE WITH
ALZHEIMER'S.
TODAY THE NUMBER HAS SOURED TO 5
MILLION.
THE REASON BEHIND THE TREND HAS
YET TO BE UNEARTHED.
AN ESTIMATED $277 BILLION COST
EVERY YEAR, THE ECONOMIC TOLL OF
THE DISEASE IS IMMENSE.
BUT THE EMOTIONAL TOLL ON THE
ONE IN EVERY TWO AMERICAN
FAMILIES IMPACTED BY ALZHEIMER'S
IS FAR GREATER.
FOR JOURNALISTS AND AUTHOR AND
FRIEND OF MY YEARS, MARIA
SHRIVER, THE AFFECTS OF
ALZHEIMER'S ARE IMPOSSIBLE.
MARIA'S EXPERIENCE LED HER TO
FOUND THE NON-PROFIT
ORGANIZATION THE WOMEN'SAL
ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT AND I'M
PLEASED TO WELCOME HER TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> NICE TO SEE YOU, JACK.
AND THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO
SPOTLIGHT THIS ISSUE.
>> WE'RE HAPPY TO.
LET ME GO BACK TO WHEN YOUR DAD
WAS DIAGNOSED.
AT THAT TIME, DID YOU HAVE ANY
IDEA WHAT THAT DISEASE MEANT FOR
BOTH HIM AND YOU AND OTHER
FAMILIES MEMBERS?
>> NOT -- I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT
ALL OF US WOULD PROCESS IT
DIFFERENTLY.
IT WAS OBVIOUSLY DIFFERENT FOR
MY MOTHER THAN IT WAS FOR THE
FATHER THAT I KNEW.
IT WAS DIFFERENT FOR THE
GRANDCHILDREN.
IT WAS DIFFERENT FOR PEOPLE WHO
WORKED ALONG SIDE HIM FOR YEARS.
SO, I THINK EVERY CASE OF
ALZHEIMER'S, AS EVERY DOCTOR HAS
SAID TO ME, IS ITS OWN UNIQUE
CASE.
AND I THINK FAMILIES IMPACTED
INDIVIDUALLY, COLLECTIVELY, AND
DIFFERENTLY.
>> I MENTIONED IN THE
INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOU AS A
CONSEQUENCE OF THIS FOUNDING THE
WOMENS ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT.
WHY?
>> BECAUSE NOBODY WAS IMPACTING
WOMEN DIFFERENTLY.
AND I THINK SOMEBODY SHOULD
FOCUS ON THAT.
AND THEY AND OTHER RESEARCHERS
SAID IT'S BECAUSE WOMEN LIVE
LONGER.
THEN THEY PARTNERED WITH ME AND
WE PRODUCED THE SHRIVER REPORT.
WE REPORTED THE FIRST TIME THIS
WAS A WOMAN'S DISEASE.
SO, WOMEN ARE 2/3 AS YOU
MENTIONED OF THE CASES.
THEY'RE ALSO 2/3 OF THE CARE
GIVES IN OUR COUNTRY.
AND AS ANYBODY WHO IS INVOLVED
IN CARE GIVING AND CARE TAKING
OF SOMEONE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR
ANOTHER DEMENTIA, IT'S AN
OVERWHELMING UNDERTAKING.
SO, I HAVE BEEN PUSHING TO FUND
RESEARCH ON WOMEN, AND I ALWAYS
SAY THAT'S NOT SEXIST.
IT'S JUST SMART.
SO WE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW WOMENS'
BODIES AND WOMENS' BRAINS
OPERATE DIFFERENTLY WHICH WILL,
I THINK, HELP US CHANGE THE
FUTURE FOR ALL MINDS.
AND THE WOMENS' ALZHEIMER'S
MOVEMENT IS DEDICATED TO GETTING
THE STORY OUT THERE, TO FUNDING
THE RESEARCH, EDUCATING WOMEN,
AND GETTING THEM INVOLVED IN
PUSHING THE NEEDLE.
>> IS IT ACCURATE TO IDENTIFY
THIS AS A NATIONAL SECURITY
RIGHT NOW?
>> TOTALLY.
TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE IT
AND THE MILLIONS WHO ARE
IMPACTED, THEIR FAMILIES, CARE
GIVING, STOPPING JOBS, RUNNING
THROUGH THEIR SAVINGS.
YOU PUT OUT THE FIGURE OF WHAT
IT'S COSTING OUR COUNTRY.
AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN MENTION,
AS I SAID, ALL THE UNPAID
CAREGIVERS.
SO, WE HAVE A CARE GIVING
CRISIS, ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA
CRISIS.
WE PUT OUT ON OP SAID ON WORLD
ALZHEIMER'S DAY CHALLENGING
ELECTED OFFICIALS TO PUT
TOGETHER SMART ALZHEIMER'S PLANS
IN THEIR STATE, THEIR CITIES.
BUSINESSES NEED TO TALK AND
DEVELOP CARE GIVING PLANS
BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE
WORKING AND TRYING TO PARENT AND
ALSO TAKE LOVED ONES TO DOCTOR'S
OFFICES.
WE SHOULD BE SPEAKING TO DOCTORS
ABOUT DIAGNOSING ALZHEIMER'S AND
DEMENTIA EARLY SO PEOPLE CAN GET
IN CLINICAL TRIALS.
WE'RE TRYING TO REACH
INDIVIDUALS TO TELL THEM TO BE
AWARE OF THEIR OWN COGNITIVE
HEALTH, TO EXERCISE, TO
PRIORITIZE SLEEP, TO DECREASE
SUGAR, TRYING TO GET INTO
MINORITY COMMUNITIES BECAUSE
THIS DISEASE IS VERY FOCUSED IN
THE LATINO AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN
COMMUNITY.
SO, THERE'S A LOT OF EDUCATION
THAT HAS TO GO ON, A LOT OF
AWARENESS THAT HAS TO GO ON.
BUT FOR THE FAMILIES THAT ARE
KNEE DEEP IN THIS AND FOR THE
GOVERNMENT, THIS IS ALREADY A
CRISIS.
THIS IS A TSUNAMI.
THIS IS A CATEGORY FIVE.
>> I'M TALKING TO YOU ABOUT SOME
OF THE ELEMENTS YOU JUST
MENTIONED IN A SECOND.
BUT I'M CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR
THOUGHTS.
WE GO BACK TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY
AND HIS DECLARATION THAT U.S.
WANTED TO PUT A MAN ON THE MOON.
AND LITERALLY WITHIN A DECADE --
WITHIN A DECADE -- WE DID THAT.
AND OCFTEN TIMES YOU HEAR PEOPL
SAY WHEN THEY'RE TALK ABOUT
TREATMENT FOR DISEASES, HEAR
PEOPLE LAMENTING THE FACT.
IF WE CAN PUT A MAN ON THE MOON
IN LESS THAN A DECADE, WHY CAN'T
WE FIND A CAUSE FOR ALZHEIMER'S,
A CURE FOR ALZHEIMER'S, AT LEAST
SOMETHING MORE THAN WHAT WE
HAVE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ANSWER TO
THAT IS?
>> WELL, I THINK IT'S A
DECLARATION BY A PRESIDENT.
I THINK THAT CHANGES THE
TRAJECTORY OF WHATEVER THE
PRESIDENT DECLARES IS AN
EMERGENCY, IS A FOCUS, IS A
MISSION.
SO, IF WE HAD A PRESIDENT WHO
STOOD UP AND SAID I'M GOING TO
INCREASE NIH FUNDING FOR
ALZHEIMER'S, FOR CANCER, AND I'M
GOING TO BE A SCIENCE PRESIDENT,
I'M GOING TO BE A MEDICINE
PRESIDENT, I'M GOING TO MAKE IT
A PRIORITY TO FOCUS ON
PREVENTION, TO FOCUS ON
WELLNESS, WE WOULD HAVE A
DIFFERENT TRAJECTORY FOR THIS
DISEASE.
WE NEED INCREASED FUNDING FOR
ALZHEIMER'S, AND WE NEED SOMEONE
TO DECLARE IT A MOON SHOT.
I TESTIFIED ABOUT THAT EXACT
THING.
I USED THOSE EXACT WORDS MANY
YEARS AGO SAYING, YOU KNOW, IF
WE PUT A MAN ON THE MOON, WE CAN
DEFINITELY PUT OUR MINDS
TOGETHER AND SOLVE THIS CRISIS.
WE MAY NOT CURE IT BUT WE MAY
GET A PILL OR MULTIPLE
APPROACHES.
WE CAN SLOW IT DOWN, PREVENT IT.
SO, ANYBODY WHO HAS COGNITIVE
IMPAIRMENT, EVEN IF WE SLOW IT
DOWN, THAT SAVES THE FAMILY A
LOT OF MONEY AND A LOT OF HEART
ACHE AND IT WILL SAVE THE
COUNTRY MILLIONS IF NOT
BILLIONS.
>> AS YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK
AROUND NOW WE HAVE BECOME
TERRIBLY PARTISAN IN OUR
POLITICS.
WE HEAR THE WORD "TRIBAL" EVEN
IN OUR POLITICS.
IF YOU LOOK AT THIS ISSUE THIS
IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE.
IT'S ONE OF THE FEW YOU CAN
POINT TO AND SAY THERE IS NO
PARTISAN ELEMENT TO THIS
WHATSOEVER.
AND YET WE DON'T SEEM TO GET THE
INVESTMENT.
LITERALLY, FIGURATIVELY, AND
EMOTIONALLY INTO THIS ISSUE THAT
YOU WOULD EXPECT, ESPECIALLY
FROM THE GOVERNMENTS.
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE IS
THAT -- I DON'T WANT TO CALL IT
RELUCTANCE OR RESISTANCE BUT WHY
DO YOU THINK WE'RE NOT SEEING
THAT ALL HANDS ON DECK
INVESTMENT IN THIS?
>> WELL, I THINK WE HAVE SEEN AN
INCREASED INVESTMENT AND THAT
HAS COME THROUGH BIPARTISAN
COOPERATION AND THAT HAS COME
FROM PEOPLE TESTIFYING AND SO
MANY ACTIVISTS AND ADVOCATES
STORMING THE HILL AND ASKING FOR
IT.
THAT HAS HAPPENED.
IT HASN'T HAPPENED AT THE LEVEL
THAT THOSE OF US IN THIS SPACE
WANTED TO.
BUT IT IS INCREASING.
SO, THAT'S A GOOD SIGN AND THAT
TELLS ME THAT IT'S JUST GOING TO
GET MORE.
I THINK IF MORE PEOPLE STARTED
TO RUN ON THIS, IF MORE PEOPLE
STARTED TO FOCUS ON INCREASED
NIH FUNDING, IF, YOU KNOW, WE
FOCUSED ON LOOKING AT WOMEN,
THAT WOULD BE A PRIORITY.
BUT I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE AS A
COUNTRY RALLY AROUND WHAT
ELECTED OFFICIALS, WHAT
PRESIDENTS SAY IS OUR PRIORITY
WHETHER IT WAS WAY BACK, WHETHER
IT WAS THE MAN, WHETHER IT WAS
BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE, WHETHER
IT'S CLIMATE.
AND SO WE HAVEN'T HAD A
PRESIDENT WHO SAID ALZHEIMER'S
IS THE ISSUE, ALL HANDS ON DECK.
LET'S SOLVE THIS CRISIS.
LET'S GET AHOLD OF THIS.
SO, I'M HOPEFUL THAT WE WILL
FIND PEOPLE IN THIS MIDTERM
ELECTION WHO ARE RUNNING WHO
WILL SAY LOOK, I'M GOING TO MAKE
THIS A PRIORITY.
I'M HOPEFUL THAT WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE MAYORS AND GOVERNORS WHO
SAY I'M GOING TO APPOINT AN
ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA CZAR IN
MY STATE.
I'M GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT I
HOLD A SUMMIT IN MY STATE AND
SET GOALS FOR MY STATE.
I'M GOING TO MAKE SURE I TAP
INTO THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND
MOST FAR-REACHED THINKERS IN MY
STATE.
I'M GOING TO CHARGE YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO GO TO COLLEGES IN MY STATE
TO BECOME CARE GIVERS IN MY
STATE.
I'M GOING TO MAKE THIS PART OF
MY STATE OF THE STATE, MY STATE
OF THE CITY, AND FOR THOSE WHO
ARE RUNNING FOR NATIONAL OFFICE,
IF THEY'RE GOING TO SAY THIS IS
A PRIORITY FOR ME.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT HAS
BEEN HAPPENING, SOME DEGREE OF
PROGRESS HERE.
COMPARED TO WHEN YOU FIRST GOT
INVOLVED IN THIS, WHAT SORT OF
PROGRESS DO YOU THINK WE'VE
MADE?
LET'S TALK MEDICALLY NOW.
WHAT SORT OF PROGRESS HAVE WE
MADE IN TERMS OF -- LET'S START
WITH THE BIG PICTURE WHICH IS
FINDING SOME SORT OF CURE FOR
ALZHEIMER'S.
>> WE DON'T HAVE THAT.
BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE
SAYING OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO LOOK
NOW AT PEOPLE WHO ARE YOUNGER.
WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT WOMEN.
WHEN I STARTED IN THIS, NOBODY
DID THAT.
OR VERY FEW I WOULD SAY.
BUT WE'RE GOING TO SAY LIKE
OKAY, WOW, WE NOW UNDERSTAND
THIS 20 MAYBE 30 YEARS IN THE
BRAIN.
WE'VE GOT TO START LOOKING AT
YOUNGER PEOPLE.
WE'VE GOT TO HAVE YOUNGER PEOPLE
PARTICIPATE IN CLINICAL TRIAL.
WE NOW UNDERSTAND THAT IT MIGHT
NOT BE A ONE-STOP APPROACH.
THERE'S SOME INNOVATIVE THINGS
GOING ON IN THAT SPACE.
WE DO RECOGNIZE THAT THE
AMERICAN LIFESTYLE MAY BE A
CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.
LET'S LOOK AT THAT.
LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT WE KNOW
HELPS.
WE KNOW EXERCISE HELPS.
WE KNOW SLEEP IS A TIME FOR THE
BRAIN TO REGENERATE.
WE KNOW THAT HELPS.
WE KNOW THAT WE NEED TO MOVE.
WE KNOW THAT WE NEED A
MEDITERRANEAN DIET IS HELPFUL.
WE KNOW MEDITATION IS HELPFUL.
SO, WHEN I FIRST STARTED IN THE
SPACE, NOBODY WAS TALKING ABOUT
ANY OF THAT.
SO, THERE ARE THINGS -- THERE'S
AN EXPLOSION, I THINK, OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THIS SPACE
NOW.
PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN
LONGEVITY.
THEY'RE INTERESTED IN, WOW,
MEDICINE CAN KEEP A BODY ALIVE
FOR A LOT LONGER.
BUT WHAT QUALITY OF LIFE IS
THAT?
HOW DO WE KEEP THE MIND ACTIVE?
HOW DO WE CONTINUE TO LEARN?
WHAT DOES LONGEVITY REALLY LOOK
LIKE?
SO, I'M ENCOURAGED, I'M HOPEFUL,
I'M NOT HOPELESS.
AND I KIND OF REACH OUT TO
PEOPLE AND SAY THIS IS A
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
THIS IS A PROFESSIONAL
CHALLENGE.
IT'S A PUBLIC SPACE CHALLENGE.
AND IF WE ALL WORK TOGETHER,
POLITICAL PARTIES WORK TOGETHER,
BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS WORK
TOGETHER, AND ALSO POLICY WORKS
WITH THAT, WE CAN HARNESS THIS
DISEASE.
WE CAN WIPE IT OUT.
I FIRMLY BELIEVE WE CAN DO THAT
IN MY LIFETIME.
>> DO YOU THINK THERE ARE
MISCONCEPTIONS OUT THERE
SURROUNDING THIS DISEASE THAT IN
SOME WAYS IMPEDE --
>> YES, CERTAINLY.
>> -- OUR AWARENESS, OUR
UNDERSTANDING, AND IMPEDE HOW WE
SHOULD BE DEALING WITH THIS
DISEASE?
>> ABSOLUTELY.
THE WOMENS ALZHEIMER'S AND
BIPARTISAN INSTITUTE LAST YEAR
DID A POLL AND IT WAS AMAZING TO
ME WITH ALL THE INFORMATION
THAT'S OUT THERE HOW
ILL-INFORMED PEOPLE ARE.
PEOPLE THINK WELL, IF IT DIDN'T
RUN IN MY FAMILY, I CAN'T GET
IT.
THAT'S WRONG.
SO, EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHOULD
BE AWARE THAT ALZHEIMER'S CAN
IMPACT THEM.
SO, EVERY SINGLE PERSON THINKS
LIKE OH, IF, YOU KNOW, I HAVE A
GENE, I'M DEFINITELY GOING TO
GET IT.
THAT'S NOT TRUE EITHER, RIGHT?
EVERYBODY THINKS THIS IS
SOMETHING THAT JUST IS A NATURAL
PART OF AGING.
WRONG AGAIN.
PEOPLE THINK I'LL WORRY ABOUT
THAT WHEN I'M 80, BIG MISTAKE.
YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT IT
WHEN YOU'RE 30.
THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
YOUR BRAIN BEGINS TO CHANGE VERY
EARLY ON.
HOW YOU TREAT YOUR BRAIN WHEN
YOU'RE 30, 40, 50 WILL HAVE
IMPACT WHEN YOU'RE 60, 70, AND
80.
I WISH I HAD KNOWN THAT WHEN I
WAS 30.
ALSO WOMEN WHO ARE
PERIMENOPAUSAL AND MENOPAUSAL,
THEY NEED TO BE TALKING TO THEIR
DOCTORS BECAUSE ESTROGEN,
HORMONE REPLACEMENT, THOSE ARE
CONVERSATIONS THAT WOMEN SHOULD
BE
IMPACTS THEIR BRAIN.
SO, THOSE THINGS THAT I JUST
MENTIONED TO YOU, JACK, NOBODY
WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN MY DAD
WAS FIRST DIAGNOSED.
AND I THINK PEOPLE ARE ALSO
COMPLETELY ILL-INFORMED ABOUT
THE COST OF CARE GIVING, WHO IS
GOING TO DO THE CARE GIVING,
WHERE DO THEY GO FOR CARE
GIVING.
I WAS REALLY INTERESTED IN THAT
POLL WE DID THAT SAID PEOPLE
THOUGHT MY CHILDREN ARE GOING TO
CARE FOR ME BUT NO ONE HAD
TALKED TO THEIR CHILDREN.
NO ONE HAD SET ASIDE MONEY FOR
THEIR CHILDREN TO CARE FOR THEM.
SO, WE ARE ILL-EQUIPPED.
WE NEED TO HAVE A NATIONAL
CONVERSATION.
I KNOW PEOPLE SAY THAT ALL THE
TIME.
BUT THESE ARE CONVERSATIONS I
THINK THAT SHOULD START AT
KITCHEN TABLES IN EVERY CONDO,
APARTMENT, COMMUNITY CENTER, AND
HOME IN OUR COUNTRY.>>
COUPLE OF THINGS, BUT I WANT TO
ASK YOU SPECIFICALLY.
I IMAGINE THAT FREQUENTLY PEOPLE
COME UP TO YOU AFTER SOME OF
THESE CONVERSATIONS THAT YOU'RE
HAVING OR THE EVENTS THAT YOU'RE
AT AND THEY SAY TO YOU, "WHAT
SHOULD I DO?"
WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR MYSELF, AND
WHAT CAN I DO IN TERMS OF OUR
CAMPAIGN TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT
THIS INSIDIOUS DISEASE?
WHAT DO YOU TELL THEM ABOUT
THEMSELVES AND THEN HOW THEY CAN
HELP IN THE BIGGER PICTURE?
>> GOOD QUESTION.
SO, FIRST AND FOREMOST, I TELL
THEM TO MOVE.
YOU'VE GOT TO EXERCISE.
EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR/RESEARCHER
SAID IF YOU COULD GET ONE THING
ACROSS TO PEOPLE THAT THE KIND
OF SEDENTARY AMERICAN LIFESTYLE
IS KILLING THEM.
SO, PEOPLE SHOULD MOVE.
THEY SHOULD PRIORITIZE THEIR
SLEEP.
THAT IS, AS I SAID, WHEN THE
BRAIN REGENERATES ITSELF.
I TELL THEM TRY MEDITATION.
I STARTED IT WAY LATE IN LIFE.
I WISH I HAD STARTED IT EARLIER.
IT'S A TIME FOR YOUR BRAIN TO
CALM DOWN AND ONCE AGAIN CLEAR
ITSELF.
FOOD.
WHILE I WISH I HAD KNOWN THIS A
LOT EARLIER.
GET OFF OF PROCESSED FOOD.
ADOPT IF YOU CAN A
MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE DIET.
WE'RE SEEING A LOT OF SUCCESS
WITH PEOPLE WITH CHANGING THEIR
DIET.
IF YOU HAVE A LOVED ONE WHO'S IN
A MEMORY CARE FACILITY OR
SOMETHING, GO IN AND ARGUE TO
HAVE THE FOOD IN THAT FACILITY
CHANGED TO BENEFIT THE BRAIN.
I TELL THEM TO DONATE IF THEY
CAN TO GENDER-BASED RESEARCH OR
JUST TO RESEARCH ON ALZHEIMER'S.
THE WOMENS ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT
WOULD LOVE YOUR SUPPORT.
AND BY THAT I MEAN YOUR
FINANCIAL SUPPORT, YOUR
INTELLECTUAL SUPPORT.
I WOULD LIKE YOU TO GO OUT AND
MAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL WHAT I'M
SAYING TO PEOPLE YOU LOVE.
IF YOU HAVE A PARENT WHO'S IN
THEIR 60s OR 70s, LOOK AT WHAT
THEY'RE EATING.
TALK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR COGTY
NEGATIVE HEALTH.
I TELL PEOPLE TO ASK THEIR
PRIMARY DOCTORS.
TALK ABOUT THEIR COGNITIVE
HEALTH.
DO YOU HAVE A COGNITIVE
BASELINE?
IF YOU'RE 50, TAKE ONE.
IT'S SCARY.
I DID IT.
IT'S SCARY.
DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO KEEP
LEARNING, KEEP GROWING, KEEP
BEING CURIOUS, AND KEEP WORKING.
>> LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.
WHEN WE LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS
THAT WE TALKED ABOUT AT THE
BEGINNING AND THROUGHOUT OUR
CONVERSATION, THEY SOUND SO
TERRIBLY BLEAK AND FOREBODING,
IS THERE CAUSE, DO YOU THINK,
FOR OPTIMISM?
>> YES, AS I SAID I'M REALLY
OPTIMISTIC.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, THE WORSE
THING IS TO GO OH, IT'S
HOPELESS, LET ME CLOSE AND GO
EAT 20 SWEDISH FISH OR SOMETHING
WHICH IS WHAT I MIGHT HAVE DONE
IN THE PAST.
BUT I THINK THIS IS A CHALLENGE.
BUT IT'S ALL OF OUR CHALLENGE.
I HAVEN'T MET A PERSON WHO
TO REMEMBER THEIR VE LONG ENOUG-
GRANDCHILDREN'S NAME.
I HAVEN'T MET A PERSON WHO
DOESN'T WANT TO GROW OLDER WITH
THEIR COGNITIVE SKILLS INTACT,
RIGHT?
THIS IS SOMETHING WE CAN ALL
AGREE ON, WE ALL WANT, WE ALL
DESIRE.
NOBODY WANTS TO BE A MURDER TO
THEIR CHILDREN.
SO, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT
AFFECTS US ALL.
WE HAVE A BRAIN.
WE SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON THIS.
I THINK PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF
GROWING OLD IN THIS COUNTRY.
ALZHEIMER'S, THEY PERCEIVE IT TO
BE AN OLD PERSON'S DISEASE.
WE NEED TO REMARKET IT.
I'M HOPEFUL ABOUT THAT.
THE WOMENS ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT
IS VERY AGGRESSIVE IN THAT
SPACE, CREATIVE, TALKING TO
YOUNG PEOPLE, BRIDGING
GENERATIONS.
WE HAVE TO ALSO HONOR THOSE OF
US IN COMMUNITIES WHO ARE AGING,
RIGHT?
HOW DO WE WANT TO TAKE CARE OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE AGING IN OUR
COUNTRY.
WHO ARE WE AS A COUNTRY?
DO WE VALUE PEOPLE WHO ARE
OLDER, RIGHT?
WHAT IS OUR CONCEPT OF CARE?
I'M ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THAT
CONVERSATION.
I SEE TREMENDOUS POSSIBILITIES
IN THAT SPACE.
I SEE A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO
WANT TO BECOME CAREGIVERS, WHO
WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS
SPACE, WHO WANT TO RESHAPE IT.
SO, THERE'S A LOT TO BE HOPEFUL
ABOUT.
BUT THERE'S ALSO A LOT OF WORK
TO DO.
>> WELL, MARIE, I'VE GOT TO TELL
YOU THAT THIS CONVERSATION, THE
CONVERSATIONS YOU'RE HAVING OUT
THERE, SO HELPFUL NOT JUST TO
THOSE OF US WHO LIVED THROUGH
THE TRAGEDY OF THIS DISEASE BUT
EVERYBODY ELSE OUT THERE WHO
NEEDS TO KNOW AND ACT AND TO
MOVE.
IT'S A PLEASURE TO TALK TO YOU
AND CATCH UP WITH YOU.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> SO NICE TO SEE YOU.
>> I KNOW.
I WISH WE WERE SITTING IN THE
SAME ROOM.
WE'LL DO THAT SOMETIME SOON.
OUR THANKS TO YOU FOR THE
CONVERSATION FOR ALL YOU'RE
DOING.
YOU BE WELL, AND WE'LL TALK
SOON.
>> THANK YOU.
>>> YOU KNOW WHO MATTHEW
SHEPHERD WAS.
IF NOT, YOU SHOULD.
LET ME REMIND YOU.
HE WAS A 21-YEAR-OLD COLLEGE
STUDENT WHO IN 1998 WAS TORTURED
AND BRUTALLY BEATEN JUST FOR
BEING GAY.
TIED TO A FENCE AND LEFT TO DIE,
HE WAS DISCOVERED 18 HOURS
LATERS IN BELOW FREEZING
TEMPERATURES.
MATTHEW SUCCUMBED TO HIS
INJURIES ONE WEEK LATER.
THIS HORRIFIC MURDER WOULD
BECOME A CATALYST FOR REWRITING
THE NATION'S HATE CRIME LAWS
AMONG OTHER THINGS.
HIS PARENTS CONTINUE THEIR FIGHT
TO, QUOTE, ERASE HATE.
I'M DELIGHTED THEY'RE JOINING US
NOW.
>> THANK YOU.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>> LET'S START AT THE GIPING, 20
YEARS AGO.
THIS IS HARD.
I REMEMBER COVERING THE STORY.
FOR YOU, JUST THE NOTION OF 20
YEARS HAVING PASSED MUST BE SO
DIFFICULT.
BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE
DONE IN THOSE 20 YEARS.
I MENTIONED THE FOUNDATION.
AND LET ME START WITH YOU, WHAT
WAS THE IDEA BEHIND THE
FOUNDATION WHEN YOU STARTED IT?
>> WE RECEIVED A LOT OF
CORRESPONDENCE WHILE MATT WAS
STILL IN THE HOSPITAL AND SOON
AFTER HE PASSED FROM PARENTS OF
GAY CHILDREN ASKING US TO USE
OUR VOICE AS ACCEPTING PARENTS
TO SHOW OTHER PARENTS YOUR KIDS
ARE YOUR KIDS NO MATTER WHAT AND
WE HAD LOST OUR SON TO A
HORRIFIC ACT OF VIOLENCE.
BUT OTHER FAMILIES HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO BRING THEIR
CHILDREN AND WELCOME THEIR
CHILDREN BACK INTO THEIR
FAMILIES.
THAT WAS WHAT GOT US STARTED.
WE FELT LIKE WE OWED IT TO MATT
TO DO THAT.
IT MORPHED INTO MANY THINGS
SINCE THEN BUT THAT'S WHAT
STARTED IT.
>> ONE OF THE THINGS -- WE
TALKED ABOUT IT HERE ON THE
PROGRAM IN THE PAST -- THAT'S
THE LARAMY PROJECT.
>> THAT WAS A PLAY IN THE
TECTONIC THEATER.
THEY WENT OUT TO LARAMIE AND
INTERVIEWED PEOPLE JUST TO GET
THEIR REACTIONS.
FROM THAT, THEY DEVELOPED THE
LARAMIE PROJECT WHICH IS THE
SECOND-MOST PRODUCED PLAY IN THE
UNITED STATES BOTH FROM HIGH
SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, ADULT THEATER
GROUPS, ET CETERA.
AND THEN THEY ACTUALLY WENT BACK
TEN YEARS LATER AND DID THE
SECOND PLAY CALLED "LARAMIE
PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER" AND
WENT BACK AND FOUND OUT IF
ATTITUDES HAD CHANGED AND IF
IDEAS AND ACCEPTANCE HAD GOTTEN
BETTER.
>> I HEARD YOU TALK ABOUT THE
FACT THAT YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT
THE CURRENT POLITICAL
ENVIRONMENT AND THE IMPACT IT
COULD HAVE ON WHAT YOU'VE BEEN
DOING IN MATTHEW'S MEMORY.
WHY ARE YOU CONCERNED?
>> WELL, WE WERE MAKING SUCH
PROGRESS UNDER THE OBAMA
ADMINISTRATION NOT ONLY IN
LEGISLATIVE AND LEGAL SENSE BUT
IN A MORAL SENSE, I THINK OF IT.
PEOPLE BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND AND
ACCEPT THE GAY COMMUNITIES AND
ALL MINORITIES AS UNDERSTANDING.
WE'RE ALL JUST TRYING TO LIVE
OUR LIVES JUST THE SAME AS I
SAID, WE'RE JUST THE SAME.
TO FEEL SAFE AND SECURE, LOVED,
AND BE LOVED IN RETURN.
REALLY NO DIFFERENCE.
OBAMA PUT IN MANY THINGS WITH
EXECUTIVE ORDER OR SOME KIND OF
REGULATION TO PROTECT LGBT
STUDENTS AND WORKERS THAT NOW
HAVE BEEN TURNED BACK.
AND I'M WORRIED THAT NOT ONLY
ARE THEY DOING IT IN A
REGULATORY SENSE BUT THEY'RE
DOING IT IN THE WAY THEY TALK
ABOUT THE GAY COMMUNITY AND NOT
JUST THE GAY COMMUNITY BUT
IMMIGRANTS, WOMEN, PEOPLE OF
COLOR.
IT JUST FEELS LIKE EVERYTHING IS
TOPSY-TURVY NOW LIKE WE'VE
LITERALLY GONE BACK TO THE 50s
WHERE THERE WAS NO ACCEPTANCE OF
ANYBODY BUT WHITE CHRISTIAN MEN.
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK WE NEED TO
DO ABOUT THAT?
I SHOULD INTERJECT BECAUSE I SAW
A COMMENT FROM SOMEBODY FROM THE
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SAYING IF
YOU LOOK TO CANDIDATE TRUMP'S
COMMENTS, HE AT ONE POINT IN
TIME SAID LGBTQ FOLKS WILL DO
WELL UNDER MY ADMINISTRATION.
>> YEAH.
>> AND THEY'VE SAID GIVE THE
ADMINISTRATION A CHANCE.
SO, THAT'S THE RESPONSE YOU'VE
HEARD FROM THEM.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WE NEED TO DO?
>> THAT WAS TRUMP'S PROMISE BUT
IT WASN'T VICE PRESIDENT PENCE'S
PROMISE OR ATTORNEY GENERAL
SESSIONS' PROMISE OR REX
TILLERSON'S PROMISE OR ANYBODY
IN THE CABINET'S PROMISE.
THEY HAVE THE DISTINCT RECORD OF
BEING ANTI-GAY, THE VICE
PRESIDENT IN PARTICULAR.
TRUMP MAY HAVE JUST TALKED A
LOT.
BUT HIS FOLKS AROUND HIM HAD
OPINIONS AND THEY'VE BEEN GIVING
THOSE OPINIONS AND THOSE
APPOINTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS TO
HIM.
SO --
>> THIS IS A DIFFICULT QUESTION.
BUT SOMETIMES I THINK IT CAN BE
HELPFUL.
IF YOU HAD SOME TIME TO SIT DOWN
WITH MEMBERS OF THE
ADMINISTRATION WHO YOU FEEL HAVE
NOT BEEN DOING WHAT THEY SHOULD
BE DOING, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO
THEM?
>> I WOULDN'T TALK TO THEM
BECAUSE THEY ARE -- THEIR MIND'S
ALREADY MADE UP.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE.
THAT'S WHY THEY'RE IN THERE.
>> WE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH
TALKING TO THEM, SESSIONS AND
PENCE WHEN THEY WERE IN CONGRESS
AND TRYING TO DO THE HATE CRIME
LEGISLATION.
THEY'RE SO ATTACHED TO THIS IDEA
THAT THE GAY COMMUNITY IS LESS
THAN AND NOT DESERVING OF THAT
IT WAS JUST -- IT WAS POINTLESS.
NOW, IN A LARGER SENSE, YES,
THEY SAY PEOPLE ARE EQUAL AND
DESERVE, YOU KNOW, SAFETY AND
ALL THAT.
BUT WHEN THEY TRY TO SAY YOU CAN
STILL FIRE THEM FROM THEIR JOBS
OR THAT GAY MARRIAGE SHOULDN'T
BE ALLOWED, THAT'S NOT SENDING A
MESSAGE OF INCLUSIVENESS THAT
THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BE.
I'M NOT SURE THAT WE COULD IN
ANY WAY CHANGE THEIR MIND.
THERE IS A SEGMENT OF SOCIETY
THAT JUST IS NOT ON BOARD WITH
THAT.
>> HOPEFULLY THE CONVERSATION
THAT YOU'RE DRIVING WITH
CONTINUE.
AND WE'LL GET WHERE WE NEED TO
BE.
>> WE HOPE SO.
>> I WANT TO THANK YOU BOTH FOR
SPENDING TIME.
WE APPRECIATE WHAT YOU'VE BEEN
DOING.
YOU BOTH BE WELL.
>> THANKS.
>>> BEFORE WE LET YOU GO
TONIGHT, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A
WONDERFUL EXTENSION TO
"METROFOCUS," OUR NEW
TWICE-WEEKLY PODCAST WITH ME AS
YOUR HOST.
ON IT, WE'LL GET TO EXPLORE
IN-DEPTH CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE
A LITTLE LESS FILTERED THAN THEY
ARE ON TELEVISION AND A LOT MORE
INTIMATE.
ON THE PODCAST, I'LL TALK TO AN
ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SET OF GUESTS
WITH AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT
ATTITUDE.
THE PRICE OF JOINING THIS
PODCAST, COMPLETE WITH NEW
YORKERS FROM THE STREETS TO CITY
HALL AND FROM WALL STREET TO
BROADWAY, ABSOLUTELY FREE.
SO, HEAD ON OVER TO ITUNES OR
SOUND CLOUD TO JOIN ME IN THIS
ECLECTIC MIX OF PERSONALITIES AS
WE EXPLORE OUR CITY WITH UNIQUE
"METROFOCUS."
FRESH NEW CONTENT EVERY TUESDAY
AND THURSDAY.
I'LL SEE YOU THERE.
>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE
POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL
TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM
III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B.
POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO
FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND
IRENE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE
ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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