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Maureen McGovern bravely faces a potentially devastating diagnosis.
The 73-year-old Grammy nominee announced that she has been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in an emotional but optimistic statement on Facebook and her website on Friday.
“What I do, or what I’m still capable of doing, has changed. I can’t travel or perform live anymore. In fact, I can’t direct anymore – how about a kick in the ass?” wrote McGovern.
PDA is described as a degenerative neurological syndrome that causes difficulty with vision and processing visual information, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition can also cause cognitive decline over time.
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“Of course, it’s a challenge, but it’s certainly not going to stop me from living my life. At first, I started having trouble finding the words in my brain that I wanted to say,” McGovern said. “I fought the inevitable shock of fear and downright hopelessness.”
“But slowly I realized that my inner life hasn’t changed. My passion for music, for singing, remains deeply robust,” she continued. “For me, music is a language that expresses what often cannot be said with words alone – it uplifts, expands and heals – it brings joy and comfort and can break down barriers by creating meaningful experiences. I started to embrace what I have and let it be.”
McGovern explained that she plans to continue singing and writing songs for children, as well as raising awareness of music therapy.
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“We are all patients and caregivers at some point in our lives. I have experienced how music and the arts free our spirits and open our hearts to our common humanity,” she said. “I hope you will continue to join me in these upcoming endeavors.”
After starting out in folk music, McGovern was cast to sing “The Morning After”, the theme song for the 1972 album. Poseidon’s adventurewhich won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was certified Gold by the RIAA The song’s popularity also earned McGovern a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1974.
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McGovern sang another song that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song: “We May Never Love Like This Again”, which she performed on screen in 1974. The Tower of Hell. She was also the singer of “Wherever Love Takes Me”, which was nominated for Best Original Song the same year, from Gold.