They spoke of heartache and loss, of confusion and pain, of parents struck down by Alzheimer's disease.
Seven U.S. senators gave a rare glimpse into personal tragedies Wednesday at congressional hearings on the need for a national strategy to deal with this mind-robbing illness. Their openness was inspired in part by a witness who had come to testify: former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whose husband, John, is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.
"He's not in very good shape at present," O'Connor acknowledged, while appealing for more support for families and more funding for research and clinical trials.
It was the first time the jurist has talked publicly about her husband since her sons revealed last year that he'd fallen in love with another resident of the nursing home where he was then living.