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A version of this story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Though she hails from a long line of Democratic politicians, Maria Shriver says that when it comes to the upcoming presidential election, she only has one issue on her mind.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how all of these presidential candidates focus on Alzheimer’s — Democrat, Republican, male or female,” Shriver told THR at a June 6 yoga and meditation event at Equinox Sports Club West L.A., a benefit for A Woman’s Nation Alzheimer’s Project. “I’m waiting to see how many of them will address it, though I feel really good that Jeb Bush asked for suggestions and we had an encouraging exchange. Mrs. Clinton has also been active. I’m hoping that they all focus on us as a caregiving nation because this is a huge economic issue.”
Shriver hosted a BYOB. event, which stands for “bring your own body or brain” to add fuel to the conversation about the links between physical health and mental health in the fight against Alzheimer’s, a disease Shriver has focused on for a decade. Explaining the acronym to her son, Patrick Schwarzenegger, elicited a comedic response. “My son said to me the first time we did this, ‘You know what that means? It means “bring your own beer,” ‘ ” Shriver recalled at the afternoon event, which featured yoga by Equinox’s Brent Laffoon, meditation by Unplug’s Suze Schwartz and cuisine by Human Resources’ Kacie Carter.
Beer aside, Shriver, who executive produced the Alzheimer’s-themed Still Alice, admits to boosting the meditation dialogue at home too. “I’ve had a meditation teacher come in and try to teach all of my kids because research shows that [kids] learn better in school if they are meditating and learning how to focus. I’m trying to get their schools to start it, but so far unsuccessfully.”
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