A Tallahassee resident and his family are being featured in a CNN series tracking his slow and difficult decline through the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The series, which airs its initial chapter this weekend, documents the ordeal of Sandy Halperin and the devastating impact the disease can have on families. The series, entitled “Sandy’s Story,” documents the journey of a vibrant, once-healthy man as he gradually loses his memory.
“The impact of this disease stretches well beyond just the person diagnosed – it profoundly affects the individual’s family and the community as well,” said Karen Halperin Cyphers, Sandy’s daughter and senior policy counsel at Sachs Media Group. “It’s our hope that sharing my dad’s story will help others who are diagnosed with this insidious disease, and will also encourage lawmakers and researchers to continue to dedicate more resources toward finding treatments and cures.”
Sandy Halperin, now 64, was a dentist and Harvard assistant professor who was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease at age 60. Rather than give up in the face of his diagnosis, he is determined to fight back.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta and a team of CNN journalists, led by producer Stephanie Smith, began following Halperin in April 2012. The first chapter of the series was released today on CNN.com and will air on the cable television network this weekend. The project will be released in chapters, culminating in a documentary.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that causes issues with memory, behavior and cognitive functions. Alzheimer’s is the nation’s sixth leading cause of death, with symptoms typically developing gradually and becoming more severe over time.
More than 500,000 Floridians live with Alzheimer’s disease today. Currently, there are no disease-modifying treatments or cures.
The first chapter of the CNN series can be viewed here: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/09/health/sandys-story/index.html?hpt=hp_c3