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Play "Opens Eyes" to the Impacts of Alzheimer's Disease

PHOTO: NPR's Diane Rehm is among the voices in a reading of the play "Surviving Grace," which is coming to Indianapolis in November to raise awareness about how Alzheimer's disease affects its victims and their families. Photo courtesy of Linder & Associates.
PHOTO: NPR's Diane Rehm is among the voices in a reading of the play "Surviving Grace," which is coming to Indianapolis in November to raise awareness about how Alzheimer's disease affects its victims and their families. Photo courtesy of Linder & Associates.
October 31, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - An estimated 100,000 people in Indiana suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and a special production sheds light on the impact it has on them and their loved ones. The off-Broadway play 'Surviving Grace' follows a daughter's emotional journey caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. National Public Radio host Diane Rehm plays the mother in a special reading of Act One that will be presented in Indianapolis. She calls it an eye-opening experience.

"It's funny, it's poignant, it's sad, it's unbelievable and it is true," says Rehm.

The production, according to Rehm, is traveling the country to raise awareness and funding in the fight against Alzheimer's.

"Alzheimer's has simply not risen to the level of understanding that it is going to demand within the next decade," says Rehm.

According to 'US Against Alzheimer's' as the baby boom generation ages, the number of people with Alzheimer's disease is expected to triple by 2050. The production will be held Friday, Nov. 14 at Butler University.

Alzheimer's is officially the sixth-leading cause of death, and Rehm says the financial costs are tremendous for families and communities. She adds with no current cure, treatment, or prevention, more funding is needed for research.

"There is so little money going to it and yet it's a disease that is going to affect millions of people," she says. "If we don't put the money into it, we're going to play catch-up."

There are an estimated 15 million people caring for the more than five million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's disease nationally. And because it impacts the lives of so many people over the age of 50, AARP Indiana is among organizations supporting the event.

Tickets can be purchased through the Clowes Hall box office.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN