The latest from Michigan Avenue editor in chief J.P. Anderson.
Pooling our resources: Hanging with cover star Duncan Keith in the restored Tank pool area at the Chicago Athletic Association during his photo shoot.
In my 15 years as a Chicago journalist, I’ve written countless stories and interviewed a gamut of inspiring figures, from passionate philanthropists and powerhouse CEOs to Hollywood icons and world-class athletes (like our current cover star, 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs MVP Duncan Keith). But no story I’ve worked on has hit as close to home as this month’s feature on the state of Alzheimer’s disease in the US.
My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago. He still lives at home and recognizes our immediate family, but he has little sense of time or place and exists in a perpetual state of confusion. “When are we going home?” has become a constant question, even though he’s standing in the kitchen of the house he and my mother have lived in for 45 years.
One consolation is that my family isn’t alone—not by a long shot. Some 5.3 million Americans are suffering from the disease, and it has made caregivers of millions more. As the numbers rise, the fight against Alzheimer’s has become ever more urgent, and few have been as crucial to that fight as Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. The daughter of Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth, Princess Yasmin has spent the past three decades raising awareness (and millions of dollars) through the Rita Hayworth Galas in Chicago and New York. With National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month both falling in November, it’s the perfect time for Michigan Avenue to tell the story of her inspiring work in Chicago and beyond, and to fulfill the magazine’s mission of championing those who are doing great things for the good of others. Because although there may not be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease yet, thanks to Princess Yasmin we’re getting there. That’s good news for my family and yours, and it’s a story I’m honored to tell.