In the fall of 2006, Madison Magazine assigned television journalist Dan Smith to interview activist Mary Kay Baum. Madison Magazine was honoring Mary Kay Baum for her lifetime work of activism and service to the people of her community.
"She used the words 'hope' and 'Alzheimer's' in the same sentence. I couldn't get it out of my head. I've done hundreds of stories and have become as jaded as anyone in journalism. But this was different," says Smith, who now runs the production company Triangle Media Works.
Smith learned that Baum had recently been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease--a disease that presents symptoms of Alzheimer's in a person before age 65.
Her doctor told her her job was killing her. So at age 57, Baum left her job as the director of the Madison Area Urban Ministry. But she refused to sit at home and look out the window.
Instead, she did what she always did. She decided to tell whoever would listen that a diagnosis of Alzheimer's is not a death sentence. There are ways to ease the symptoms of Alzheimer's and she would put herself out there to prove it.
Working with her sisters, Mary Kay travels the country giving talks about early onset Alzheimer's. She advocates to elected officials for more research. She constantly looks for new ways to cope with the disease--new therapies.
The result is the HOPE OF ALZHEIMER'S: AN ADVOCATE'S JOURNEY. It's a multi-media production from Triangle Media Words in Madison, Wisconsin. The production includes a television documentary, book and program guide organizations can use to help people learn more about early onset Alzheimer's.
To learn more about how the project works go to our CONTACT US page and send us a message.