Colorado Springs, CO — Frontotemporal Disease, FTD, is little-known, not high-profile or championed by celebrities, but is quietly robbing its victims of their personalities, their reasoning, their relationships, and ultimately their lives. FTD accounts for as many early dementia sufferers as does Alzheimer’s under age 65, and often appears in men and women as young as their thirties.
This disease causes many people to suffer and families are being pulled apart. At the age of 53, Susan Grant, co-founder of Planning for Hope, was at the peak of her career as one of the top 1% of the 10,000 financial advisors at American Express Financial Advisors overseeing $40 million in investment portfolios. Suddenly she started to notice a change in her brain losing sense of direction for finding the hairdresser, wording finding skills, but took disability, and helped transition the clients she loved dearly, to an advisor that she had been mentoring for 3 years. These very early symptoms eventually led to a diagnosis of FTD.
Instead of going silently and giving up hope, Susan decided to fight for awareness so that the disease that afflicts her and thousands of others worldwide would share in deserved scientific spotlight so that future generations could have hope and find answers and has dedicated 2-3 years to creating and marketing a film, “Planning for Hope”, aimed at unveiling the truth about Frontotemporal Disease, addressing the surrounding issues and controversies, and offering hope to those affected. The “HOPE” in Planning for Hope is to save the families from financial disaster.
“With our film, we too look to overcome the stigma of being called demented, with its perception of being mad, crazy, or insane, to change to being a whole person with a disease just as any other person gets the same respect if they have diabetes or arthritis. No two people are alike! They are all degenerative diseases in one form or another” said Grant, “We want to encourage people with only an “inking” before it becomes major, that their brain is changing to go to their doctor, perhaps with a copy of the documentary to get the earliest diagnosis, rather than waiting and denying their problem. The family doctors need to know that early diagnosis is important, because hopefully soon the drugs that are in the pipeline that may offer effective treatment and possibly cures.”
The key message to the doctors is not to wait, because when it finally becomes debilitating which might take several years, patients that wait are getting fired, bankruptcy, and divorces are prevalent. Very early symptoms can include the patient with their families to prepare with their future planning, desires and get the estate planning documents in place.
This film promises to open doors of understanding and opportunity as well as to help move FTD from the status of “orphan disease” into the mainstream medical community and was distributed by satellite to Public Television stations throughout the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and will be shown on for a second time on PBS, dedicated to those courageous families who openly share their struggles, how they deal with the discrimination heaped upon them, their confusion, and their pain. These stories are blended with the latest medical and scientific advances delivered by some of the most brilliant minds in research.
Recently, Susan Grant was chosen as one of the Top 100 Most Inspiring People in the life-sciences industry by PharmaVOICE which is expressly written and designed to deliver the views, opinions, and insights of executives who are shaping the direction of the dynamic life-sciences industry. PharmaVoice, with the largest distribution in its market sector, is delivered to more than 34,000 BPA-qualified subscribers and the digital edition also reaches more than 100,000 people, including executives from pharmaceutical manufacturing, biotechnology, drug discovery, and device/diagnostic companies. Grant voted on by peers was most excited about being listed as a “change agent”.
About Planning for Hope
In the documentary Planning for Hope: Living with Frontotemporal Disease and on the pages of the Planning for Hope website, you can learn more about this disease, its impact, and sources of hope for victims and their families. Although there are hundreds of thousands FTD victims in the United States alone, they tend to live in different areas and have limited opportunities to share with other FTD victims.