Melanie Rowen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her late twenties. She remembers the first symptoms, such as bad vision and physical numbness, and her unsuccessful attempts to diagnose herself. As an attorney, normal tasks like writing briefs and remembering what was said at meetings suddenly became much more difficult.
The cost to treat the disease is over $700 a month. Rowen describes in detail how she deals with these financial burdens while trying to forge a new identity for herself.
As a musician, you have to know how to deal with different types of crowds. Sometimes people aren't paying much attention to you, and they even talk while you're on stage. But other times, they give you standing ovations and beg for more.
In 1965, San Jose resident Andrew Montgomery was inspired by Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Montgomery was deeply offended by the laws preventing African Americans from renting and buying homes in certain areas of San Jose. So he started up a chapter of CORE – the Congress of Racial Equality. After hearing about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march of 1965, Andrew and his friends wanted to follow in his footsteps – right here in the Bay Area.
Carole Peccorini had to grow up quickly. When she was eight, her mother began to show symptoms of mental illness. As her disease progressed, her family struggled to hold itself together. In this story, Carole talks to her husband Francisco Peccorini and her daughter Chalon Bridges about how her mother’s case of Huntington’s Disease affected her childhood.
Marianne Gillmer was born in Germany during World War II. Growing up in her village during those tragic years was tough on her family, especially after her father died in battle. She was aware of death at a young age, but she and her best friend still found ways to remain playful and adventurous. In this story, she tells her daughter Susan about one of her most peculiar playgrounds – the local cemetery.