Famous Singer Maureen McGovern has revealed that she was recently diagnosed with “Posterior Cortical Atrophy with symptoms of Alzheimer’s and/or Dementia.”
The singer’s exceptional career has spanned music, comedy, and theater. She also appeared in the evergreen comedy “Airplane,” where she played the singing nun. She is best known for her hit song “Morning After,” which won the Best Original Song at the Academy Awards and featured in the hit movie “The Poseidon Adventure.”
The 72-year-old has now reached out to her fans in a bittersweet but hopeful message on her website disclosing that she has Posterior Cortical Atrophy.
Read on for more details.
Maureen McGovern Says Her ‘Inner Life’ Has Not Changed In Moving Message
Her announcement began with a series of montages that depict her achievements from her decade-long career flashing across the screen. After reeling off her various achievements from her career, which had filled her “life with joy,” the “Airplane” actress shared her diagnosis.
“I’ve been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy with symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia,” she began. “What I do or am still able to accomplish has changed. I can no longer travel or perform in live concerts. I can no longer drive. How’s that for a kick in the butt? Of course, it’s a challenge. But it will certainly not keep me from living my life.”
While it took a long while to come to terms with her diagnosis, she shared that her passion for singing hadn’t changed.
“At first, I began having trouble finding in my mind the things I wanted to say,” she said. “I struggled with the inevitable shock, with fear — and frankly — hopelessness. But slowly, I realized that my inner life had not changed. My passion for music and singing remains profoundly robust.”
She Will Continue To Advocate For Music Therapy
In her announcement shared on her website and Facebook page, she said that her diagnosis inspired the next step in her career, which is becoming an advocate for music therapy.
“I will be working to bring more attention and awareness to music therapy,” McGovern said. “We are all patients and caregivers at some time in our lives. I have experienced how music and the arts free our spirits and open our hearts to our common humanity.”
The singer continued, “To me, my music is a language that expresses what often cannot be said with just words. It elevates, expands, heals, brings joy and comfort, and eliminates barriers by creating meaningful experiences. So, accepting this new stage of my life, I began to embrace what I have and let it be.”
McGovern expressed her hope that fans would join her in her next journey and signed off with, “May all your lives be filled with music.”
Maureen McGovern’s Achievements
The star rose to the limelight after she recorded the 1972 award-winning song, “The Morning After,” which featured in the blockbuster “The Poseidon Adventure.”
McGovern was also the singer of the Oscar-nominated song, “Wherever Love Takes Me.”
Following her rise to stardom, she recorded another song in 1975, “We May Never Love Like This Again,” which won an Oscar and featured in “The Towering Inferno.” McGovern also wrote songs for “Superman” and the TV series “Angie.”
As an actress, the star has featured in comedies such as “Airplane” and “Airplane II: The Sequel,” playing the role of nun Angelina. Additionally, she has appeared in over 60 televised concerts, talk shows, and TV specials.
McGovern appeared in Broadway plays such as “The Pirates of Penzance” and “Nine” in 1982, “3 Penny Opera” in 1989, and “Little Women The Musical” in 2005.
What Is Posterior Cortical Atrophy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, otherwise known as PCA, is “a degenerative brain and nervous system (neurological) syndrome that results in difficulty with eyesight and processing visual information.”
Common symptoms might include “difficulties with reading, judging distances, reaching for objects, a decline in memory and thinking abilities, as well as trouble with calculations and recognizing objects and familiar faces.”
Other signs might include hallucinations, confusion, blurred vision, and changes in personality and behavior. While it’s commonly due to Alzheimer’s disease, it can result from other neurological conditions, such as corticobasal degeneration or Lewy body dementia.
There are also no genetic predispositions, and neither are there risk factors that play a role in the neurological condition.