'Frasier' Star's Family Struggle with Alzheimer's

Voices: David Hyde Pierce saw father, grandfather battle effects of disease.

ByABC News

June 24, 2007 — -- Former "Frazier" star David Hyde Pierce just won a Tony award on Broadway. And today, he kicks off our ABC News-USA Today series on caring for aging parents by discussing his own family's struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Watch ABC News broadcasts and read USA Today this week for reports in the series, "Role Reversal: Your Aging Parents and You."

David Hyde Pierce: I think the hardest thing in both cases, with my grandfather and with my dad, were the moments when they understood what was happening to them.

It's a disease that takes your brain apart a piece at a time, and it doesn't stop until it kills you. That's Alzheimer's disease.

I think the Congress needs to weigh Alzheimer's disease in with every, virtually every other issue that they address.

You can't have a meaningful discussion about healthcare, about Social Security reform, about American retirement or even about American business that doesn't include Alzheimer's disease and the affect it's going to have on all those things.

So we've started this new campaign. As I say, it's called Champions. We're trying to recruit one American for every person who has Alzheimer's.

And we have a Website, actionalz.org (LINK), where people can go and they can make a contribution, they can buy t-shirts, they can find out more about the disease. All we have to do is find a way to slow it down. We're not trying to keep people from dying. We're trying to keep from dying this way.

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