Surviving Grace: USAgainstAlzheimers

An Ensemble Reading of Act One of ‘Surviving Grace’ the Acclaimed Off-Broadway Play to Raise Money for USAgainstAlzheimer’s Alzheimer’s Research

This fundraiser on September 25, 2013 was a red carpet event on the Warner Bros. Studio Lot in Burbank. The night was enjoyable, informational and moving. I felt like a star as I walked the red carpet into the event. There were celebrities, entertainment executives and people who dedicate large amounts of time and money to the worthy cause of “ending Alzheimer’s by 2020.”

After some socializing over cocktails and hors d’ourves we entered the ‘Steve J Ross Theater’ and watched the first act of Trish Vradenburg’s ‘Surviving Grace’.

The Los Angeles production stars legends Carol Burnett, Marilu Henner, Elliott Gould, Brian McNamara, Helen Reddy, Loni Anderson and Lou Gossett, Jr. This all start cast made this heart-wrenching subject, based on a true story, play about a woman confronting her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease both entertaining and moving. I laughed and I felt the pain of watching someone you love succumb to a disease that can be cured…

I’m no brain surgeon, but I believe that USAgainstAlzheimer’s is correct:

“Alzheimers Disease can be cured by the year 2020”

No one escapes cognitive decline, it a natural part of aging. However some diseases and some forms of decline can be stopped. Funding research that helps to reverse, mitigate and cure cognitive decline is in EVERYONE’s interest.

5.4 million Americans have Alzheimers (even more have other, perhaps milder but no less curable forms degenerative or genetic cognitive decline/disease).

1 in 3 have family affected by Alzheimer’s.

“Where is the outrage? Where is the outcry?” USAgainstAlzheimer’s asks.

I agree. There should be more outcry. More can and should be done. We can do more. America should do more. The Federal Government can and should do more.

People living much longer these days. The average life expectancy of Americans by 2020 will be over 80 years. As people live longer, the higher the chances that they will experience –treatable– brain diseases and unnecessary cognitive decline or diseases of the brain. Chances are most of us will.

Awareness is the first step.

The money and effort to help find the cure and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease will help us all. I enjoyed the performance and the wonderful dinner that followed. I was inspired by the message, the stories of the actors, the writer and the attendees who have been affected by the disease.

I highly recommend attending and/or supporting USAgainstAlzheimers events and fundraisers. I hope that this article will help bring more awareness to this inspired goal and wonderful organization!


About USAgainstAlzheimer’s

USAgainstAlzheimer’s is a community of engaged and enraged individuals who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and are united by our frustration at a broken status quo. We are dedicated to mobilizing individuals to demand the urgency, passion and commitment needed by our political, business and civic leaders to achieve the goal of stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020. We invite you to join our network and hope you will join us for a reading of the first act of Surviving Grace. Trish Vradenburg’s acclaimed play is inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s affects one in three seniors; one out of two after the age of 85, and is the 6th leading cause of death in our country. Women make up 2/3 of the 5.2 victims and 2/3 of the 15 million caregivers.

But it’s not just the US; 26 million and growing have the disease worldwide.

About Trish Vradenburg

Co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, a national advocacy campaign and network committed to stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020. She is also a playwright, author, comedy writer and advocate, who has written for television shows including “Designing Women,” “Family Ties” and “Kate and Allie.” Vradenburg’s play “Surviving Grace,” her comedic/dramatic homage to her mother, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s, was produced at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., off-Broadway at the Union Square Theater and, after publication, throughout the U.S. Transitioning from a life in comedy, she has become a serious advocate for increasing Alzheimer’s funding as the co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s and a founding member of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, the first national network of women leaders working to speed the pace of research and build momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease.

Visit to learn more about the play. “I used to be a comedy writer so we can laugh and cry together. And then we can march in the Alzheimer’s Army together.” With our voices standing strong as one, we can make a difference in this fight and one day live in a world where Alzheimer’s is just a distant memory.

About JulianTyler:
Julian Tyler is a screenwriter and media professional from Northern California. A Los Angeles resident for six years, he has worked on several hit films and TV shows, and follows the entertainment industry closely. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Julian has studied the media industries for many years. When he is not writing, working on films, TV shows, or media projects he is attending the best events in Los Angeles. Julian is proud to be a contributor to Pacific Punch. Follow him on twitter @JulianTyler and the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch.
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