Before I Forget

Trish Vradenburg is a playwright, author, television writer and Alzheimer's disease advocate. She and her husband, George, founded UsAgainstAlzheimer's, with the goal of finding a cure or treatment for Alzheimer's by the year 2020.

Going It Alone

Married people live longer and healthier lives.  Consider this: nine out of ten married men who are alive at 48 will make it to 65-years-old (no, it will not just seem like it) as compared with six out of 10 of men who are not married.  Women on the other hand are in better shape statistically.  So be aware men; Marriage can save your life.  Be grateful.  I will be forwarding this to my husband. But not everyone agrees with …

Up Close and Personal: My Mother and Alzheimer’s

Colette Cassidy’s Mom with her youngest child several years ago. Her family was already seeing memory problems and increased anxiety, but never dreamed it was Alzheimer’s. As many times as I read reflections of a daughter writing about her mother with Alzheimer’s, it never gets old; it never fails to punch me in the stomach; it never fails to make me tear up.  Such is the case with Colette Cassidy, a former news anchor, trained to be dispassionate about every story.  But …

The Iron Lady Fights Her Toughest Foe

By Trish Vradenberg Well, it’s a biopic so you have to expect that there will be quibbling over interpretation.  You know, the usual stuff: was he the favorite; was she a mean witch; was he a private cross-dresser?  Who really knows? The new biopic The Iron Lady, currently showing in your favorite Cineplex, has sparked controversy – even outrage – due to the fact that the central figure, Margaret Thatcher, is still alive. The crux of the objection is that the film depicts …

My Mother, My Grandmother, My Daughter, Myself

Note: this is first in a series of posts about women and Alzheimer’s When I was home during intersession in my junior year of college, I went with my mother to visit my grandmother in a nursing home.  She had what was called “hardening of the arteries.”  An articulate, determined, domineering woman-of-her-era, she was now a confused, rambling old lady.  I watched as my mother gathered her mother’s soiled laundry to wash at home.   Until then, my mother’s laundering skills …

Hit and Run

Recently, the New York Times ran another in their series of articles about concussions and football players. Written by George Vecsey, this piece focused on a college football player, Derek Owens, who has joined with other varsity players – three football players and one soccer goalie - in a class action suit that claims the NCAA has been negligent regarding awareness and treatment of brain injuries to athletes. The article begins with Derek’s mom, Teresa, reacting with a mother’s horror at …

AIDS and Alzheimer’s: Two Deadly Diseases, Two Different Stories

In 1986, when I was writing on the sitcom “Designing Women,” the brilliant creator of the show, Linda Bloodworth Thomason, and I found out on the same week that both of our mothers had a fatal disease. Linda’s mother had acquired AIDS from a transfusion; my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Within six months Linda’s mother had passed; my mom died five years later. Years later, in 2002, I had a meeting with then Senator Hillary Clinton. Hillary and Linda …