The Genius of Marian on Capitol Hill
Despite last Monday being the ‘worst weather event in years’ we had an amazing screening of the Genius of Marian on Capitol Hill! Members of the Executive and Congressional branches, members of the National Alzheimer’s Advisory Council and the general public turned out to watch the film and talk about Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving. We screened the film in the beautiful Congressional Auditorium at the Capitol Hill Visitor’s Center.
My sister, Devon White Angelini, flew in the snowstorm from Boston to DC to represent the family. Simon Kilmurry, executive producer of POV, and Aubrey Gallegos, Community Engagement & Education manager travelled from New York to welcome guests and represent the film. Emceeing our event was actor and activist David Hyde Pierce, a passionate and longtime Alzheimer’s advocate. Both Mr. Hyde Pierce’s father and grandfather passed from the disease, and he has been an advocate for over 20 years. Senator Debbie Stabenow, of Michigan, spoke eloquently about her work with Alzheimer’s, in particular the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, and the importance of raising awareness and increasing support throughout the community. We were especially moved as Senator Stabenow listed every member of the White family and how each one has individually contributed to the cause. In Mr. Hyde Pierce’s opening remarks, he introduced the film as a meditation on Alzheimer’s, on caregiving, but mostly on love. Both Senator Stabenow and David Hyde Pierce have been honored by the National Alzheimer’s Association for their work promoting Alzheimer’s research and care.
“It was an honor partnering with David Hyde Pierce to share the incredible story of the White family,” said Stabenow. “Banker White has a truly remarkable gift and has shown the world that there are millions of sons, daughters and families who are supporting loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. By investing in research dollars and resources for patients and caregivers, this year can be the year we make a real breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s.”
After the screening, Devon spoke about our mother’s progression and answered questions from the audience. My dad, Ed White, wanted to be in DC, but the weather predictions were severe and my father made the choice to stay in Boston with my mom. Devon said “It was an honor to be part of the screening at the Congressional Auditorium at the Capitol Hill Visitor’s Center. Hearing Senator Debbie Stabenow and David Hyde Pierce speak about their work to raise awareness and to secure more funding for Alzheimer’s research was truly inspirational. We appreciate their support of the film and our family and are very proud that The Genius of Marian has been helping people engage in difficult, but important conversations around dementia, Alzheimer’s, caregiving, and the power of love to heal. The audience was made up of caregivers, clinicians, activists, and people whose families have been deeply affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”
Devon stressed the importance of getting involved and suggested participating in our new story sharing project The Genius of Caring.
We are so incredibly grateful for all who came out to our screening on the 26th. Thank you’s to David Hyde Pierce, Senator Stabenow and her staff, the POV engagement team and Devon Angelini for making the event very special.
Photos by Emily Jan