GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — One Green Bay woman wanted to make a difference about a topic many families are far too familiar with — Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
“I felt like so much more needed to be done,” said Therese Barry-Tanner, who lost her mom to Alzheimer’s in 2008. “Perhaps we could get a message out to not just the folks and the families that are affected by this disease but the broader community.”
UW-Madison has a research study where they follow the children of parents who died from the disease.
“They are tracking a multitude of characteristics about us, including our diet, our leisure activities, whether we do puzzles,” Barry-Tanner said.
It was during that study that she had the idea to make a documentary about it. Spread over five years, the film follows three different families from Wisconsin and their daily struggles.
“More of an action as it unfolds and less of an interview-style because we wanted to tell the stories of these families,” she told Local 5’s Barrett Tryon.
And now her idea to make that film ten years ago is about to be on the national stage. The program is airing on PBS on April 6.
Barry-Tanner said she hopes the program will shed a light on what’s happening to millions of people and their families, and encourage a conversation to begin.
“We want to get this film out so that people who don’t have a connection to this disease can see what it’s like,” she explained. “I did not want my family’s journey to be mimicked by so many others.”
You can read more about the documentary here.
“Determined: Fighting Alzheimer’s” airs Wednesday, April 6, at 8 p.m. Central on PBS. Check local listings to see how to watch it.
There is also a community celebration planned for April 25 at the Weidner Center. It begins at 5 p.m. with a social hour and the film starts at 6:30 p.m. with a Q&A afterward.