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Sargent Shriver and his family became passionate advocates of Alzheimer's awareness

January 18, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Los Angeles Times )

When Sargent Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003, he seized the moment as an opportunity to tell the public and help raise awareness of the disease. Shriver died Tuesday at 95.

The longtime architect of social change and his wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Profiles in Courage Awards that have been presented at the Alzheimer's Assn.'s annual galas since 2004.

The association says of his death: "The Shriver family continues to raise awareness about Alzheimer's by contributing to an increased dialogue about the disease among Americans and by encouraging the government to increase their focus on Alzheimer's disease, including vocal support for the National Alzheimer's Project Act, an Alzheimer's Association-supported landmark act signed into law by President Obama in early January."

Daughter Maria Shriver also became a champion of telling the difficult stories about families coping with Alzheimer's to the national forum. She wrote the children's book "What's Happening to Grandpa?" and became executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning documentary based on the book that aired on HBO. "There are many lessons our children can teach us as more and more of us deal with parents who have Alzheimer's," she says in the documentary. Check out the rest of the show here. She also created the 2010 "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes On Alzheimer's."

Here's the Los Angeles Times obituary that chronicles contributions Shriver made throughout his lifetime.

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