Be supportive for the things they can do, Campbell’s wife says

Following the film “I’ll Be Me” shown Saturday night at the Farris Theatre, audience members were able to ask questions of Glen Campbell’s daughter Ashley, left, and his wife, Kim. Ashley Campbell sang “Remembering,” her tribute to her father and his fight against Alzheimer’s disease. (Photo by Sara Seidel/Richmond News)

By Sara Seidel/Richmond News Staff

When Chris Brown asked audience members at the Farris Saturday to raise their hands if their lives were personally impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, he was surprised when more than two-thirds of them did.

After the film aired, audience members shared their personal experiences and expressed appreciation to Kim and Ashley Campbell for sharing their family’s story. Campbell’s wife and daughter, along with Alzheimer’s Association Heart of American Chapter representative Jeannie Reater fielded questions after Brown complimented Kim and Ashley for their gutsy decision to make Campbell’s story public.

“They could have just tucked it away,” Brown said.

Kim said Campbell’s family admitted him to a memory care home in March 2014. Today, Campbell is healthy physically. He’s cheerful and content, but his ability to communicate is limited. His eyes twinkle, and he tries to tell jokes, Kim said.

“It’s kind of gibberish,” Kim said. “He just cracks himself up.”

In the controlled environment, he is less agitated. He doodles on his guitar, but it doesn’t interest him for long, Kim said.

“He’s not experiencing the pain of separation like we are,” Kim said. “He’s teaching me to live in the moment.”

Kim, who met Campbell through a blind date set up by a friend, said she and her husband are still in love, and they still kiss and hug.

On stage, Campbell’s passion for performance exhilarated him, so Kim suggested that everyone continue to pursue anything that brings joy.

The complete story is in the Monday, June 1, 2015 Richmond News.

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