Wisconsin plays large in the new ‘Nova’ science program

‘Determined: Fighting Alzheimer’s’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – An all-Wisconsin project, shot in Wisconsin with a Wisconsin crew, will be broadcast nationally on public television’s “Nova” starting Wednesday, April 6.

A community screening is scheduled for April 25 at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

According to press releases: The one-hour program tells of three women at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease who join a groundbreaking study to try to prevent the disease, while sharing their ups and downs, anxiously watching for symptoms and hoping they can make a difference .

Barb, Sigrid and Karen each had a mother with Alzheimer’s and witnessed first-hand the devastation wrought by the disease, not only on the mind and body, but on their family.

The three are participating in a major research study at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute at UW-Madison that tracks the health and memory of thousands of people over many years. “The researchers hunt for lifestyle changes and medicines that could improve all our chances and ultimately protect the brain and body from one of the world’s deadliest diseases,” a release says.

Broadcasts start at 8 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 6, at PBS Wisconsin. Rebroadcasts are scheduled at 2 am April 7 on PBS Wisconsin, 8 pm April 12 on the Wisconsin Channel, 11 pm April 12 on PBS Wisconsin and 12 am April 13 on the Wisconsin Channel.

The film will stream on Nova’s website for four weeks following the premiere. PBS Passport is not needed for that viewing.

Co-producer is Therese Barry-Tanner, who lost her mother to Alzheimer’s disease 14 years ago. She is enrolled in the massive family history study of the disease at UW-Madison.

Through a friend, Barry-Tanner connected with longtime Green Bay-based public media producer Eileen Littig, who connected Barry-Tanner with a film director who she was sure would be interested in – Melissa Godoy, Littig’s daughter.

The mother-daughter duo has worked on numerous projects, including “Do Not Go Gently,” the 2007 award-winning documentary narrated by Walter Cronkite about creativity and aging. Littig for many years produced the “Teen Connection” series for statewide broadcast, among other special programming.

Godoy was also a line producer for “American Factory,” winner of the 2020 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Barry-Tanner, Littig and Godoy set out to find families who would willingly allow cameras into the most personal and painful aspects of their lives.

They found them in Barb, Sigrid and Karen. Barb and her family care for their dying mother in rural Wisconsin. Sigrid, a retiree, is exploring lifestyle changes that she hopes can stave off the threat. Karen is struggling to raise her adolescent son in Milwaukee soon after her mother’s death due to Alzheimer’s.

April 25, a free educational screening of “Determined: Fighting Alzheimer’s” and a panel discussion will be held at starting at 5 p.m. at UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center in Cofrin Family Hall and Grand Foyer. Registration is required at forgetmenotfund.org/determined.

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