On Monday May 4th and Tuesday May 5th Wesley Homes hosted screenings of the documentary “Glen Campbell…I’LL BE ME.”
Wesley Homes brought one of the producers of the film, Trevor Albert (producer of popular films Groundhog Day, Multiplicity, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and others), to introduce the screenings and facilitate a Q&A afterwards. For those of you who haven’t seen the film or are unaware of Glen Campbell’s journey, this film follows Campbell and his family as they embark on their last concert tour together, fittingly called the “Goodbye Tour.” Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. Upon diagnoses, Campbell and his family decided that they owed it to their fans to promote the last album in one final tour. His condition had already progressed significantly by the time this tour began. The progression of Alzheimer’s seemed to dissipate when he performed on stage. It is a testament to how engrained music is in his soul and how healing and powerful music can be.
This film was truly inspirational and necessary to bring people together to discuss Alzheimer’s disease. The “Goodbye Tour” and this documentary were both huge leaps of faith. Campbell and his family went out on a limb to make his journey so public. The film’s producers, who normally make fictional comedy films, stepped out of their comfort zone to bring this film to the public. They were so moved by the Campbell family and their struggles that they became Alzheimer’s awareness advocates and made it their mission to make conversation about this disease accessible to the public. This film provides an excellent starting point for people to have difficult discussions about Alzheimer’s disease.
This film changed the viewers. It was notable how different people were before and after the screenings. Many of the attendees didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s disease but left with an appreciation for the great struggle 5.3 million Americans face on a daily basis. Trevor Albert mentioned in every Q&A session that at least one person approaches him after every screening to tell him that a friend or family member has Alzheimer’s disease, but no one else knows about it yet. Albert made it a point to mention that the stigma against this disease needs to be broken and that people need to have open discussions in order to enact change. When asked how Campbell’s family members dealt with his progression so graciously, Albert responded, “They celebrate the joy of life. They find humor in the moment and find joy in the music.”
Many of Wesley Homes’ residents and the outside public were able to engage in thoughtful conversation about what they could do to end Alzheimer’s disease. Wesley Homes Des Moines Chaplain Michael Byrd gave a compelling speech before the second showing that addressed the progress that Wesley Homes is making with the Music and Memory Program.
See Chaplain Byrd’s full speech here.
To find out more of what you can do to help the fight against Alzheimer’s disease visit www.alz.org
If you haven’t seen this film yet, it will air on CNN in June. Learn more about CNN’s showing of Glen Campbell…I’LL BE ME here