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Last week, we held a special 1-night only screening of The Genius of Marian here in Columbus.

This film is absolutely brilliant in both its simplicity and its layers of complexity. Banker White told his family’s story masterfully in this documentary that follows his spirited mother’s journey from shortly after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis through the ensuing years.

During the course of the movie, we see a decline that no doubt mirrors the decline many of us have witnessed in our own loved ones. In a particularly moving scene, Pam White struggles to put on her coat before finally giving up. Such a simple, yet impossible task. This is the face of Alzheimer’s.

Pam was just 61-years-old when she was diagnosed. A beautiful woman who had it all – the antithesis of the stereotypical person living with dementia. The Genius of Marian puts forth such a critical message: Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of the elderly. No. It’s striking youthful, vibrant individuals in the prime of life and something must be done to stop it.

If you’re interested in bringing The Genius of Marian to a theater in your town, visit http://www.tugg.com/titles/the-genius-of-marian for details. The process is easy and serves as a wonderful way to raise awareness while earning money for an Alzheimer’s organization of your choosing.

The film will also be shown on PBS in September (http://www.pbs.org/pov/geniusofmarian/), and the DVD, due out in November, is available for pre-order now (http://geniusofmarian.portmerch.com/stores/product.php?productid=19086&cat=0&page=1&featured).

Watching Pam’s journey will make you laugh and cry. This is a woman who never lost her indomitable spirit or sense of humor. Much like my own mother, a woman of great strength, and while Alzheimer’s does its best to steal everything from these women, they fight like hell, never completely losing the core of their being.