Gary Barg: You
are an advocate for the Alzheimer’s
Association. Could you tell
us how you got involved and what your
Kate Mulgrew: I
clearly got involved because it has
affected me personally. My mother
died of this disease about four years
ago. It took her about nine years
to die. I thought that the journey
was so significantly awful that if I
could elucidate it for anyone else, if I
could somehow clarify it or ease it, I
needed to step up to the plate. So
it is a small, but I hope, an important
way of giving something back. My
mother shaped me. If I am
anything, certainly in terms of my
goodness, it is because of my mother.
Tell me about your mother, Joan.
She was a magnificent artist.
Kate Mulgrew: She
was a wonderful artist; but more
importantly, she was the mother of eight
children. She was an iconoclast.
She was a maverick. She was
probably the best read person I have
ever known. She was amusing.
She was irreverent. She was smart.
She was marvelous. We went all
over the world many times. She
never missed a shoot. She never
missed a play. She never missed a
performance, and that is something to
say when you have seven other children.
She was not unfamiliar with great
sorrow. She buried two of my
sisters, which I think does not play a
small role in traumatizing the brain in
some way. All of this will be
discovered; all of this will be
unearthed, I hope in our lifetime, Gary.
At any rate, she got this disease when
she was 70-71 and it was just downhill.
What are the great challenges you see
for Alzheimer’s caregivers?