Documentaries

WRAL Documentary: Lo Lo

Posted June 5, 2011
Updated June 16, 2011

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— Her family affectionately calls 81-year old Lois Shoolbred “Lo Lo." For most of her life she was a dynamic and charismatic career woman, who worked in television and traveled the world organizing star-studded events with celebrities like Tony Bennett and Robert Plant.

Now Lo Lo is being ravished by Alzheimer’s, an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Her family must now endure the pain of watching their beloved Lo Lo’s mind slip away. Lois "Lo Lo" Shoolbred Behind-the-scenes: Lois "Lo Lo" Shoolbred

Lo Lo’s son, Dave Simpson, invited WRAL News reporter Cullen Browder into his world to see the impact of Alzheimer’s on his mother and the rest of his family. The result is this half-hour documentary called “Lo Lo."

WRAL spent hours capturing intimate moments with Lo Lo and her family. The documentary shows the sadness of Lo Lo forgetting her own family members’ names, rambling incoherently and becoming confused, angry and agitated. It also reveals her family’s courage as they accept the consequences of this insidious disease and embrace Lo Lo’s struggle with laughter and love.

“Lo Lo” aired Thursday, June 16.

Lois "Lo Lo" Shoolbred WRAL Documentary: Lo Lo

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  • mksmith2009 Jun 17, 2011

    thomas1941, "this is a joke," how I wish you were correct... watching it first hand as so many do, how dare you.

  • bradrob63 Jun 17, 2011

    Awesome story..Cullen did a fantastic job... touching, striking... This is a very brave family..

  • k123klj Jun 16, 2011

    I know how they feel. My mom has at it for 4 yrs now and she is 75. It is so hard to see a love one suffer from the disease.

  • Mom on Call Jun 16, 2011

    pmf....my husband and I had the same discussion. I feel certain this was likely done in survival mode. Each family responds so differently to each situation. None of us are perfect and I think this documentary shows how it can often be when you are so close to a loved one with ALZ. Nothing appeared malicious at all.

    The truth is hard to see. Hats off to the Simpsons for letting us see their imperfections. We saw the truth...the real thing, perfect or not.

  • pmf Jun 16, 2011

    I have been close to several people with this disease. I don't usually participate in these types of blogs but I found this evening's show to be quite, what's the right word, disturbing. You don't tease someone with a mental illness, as her son is does in this episode. Show some compassion, she can't help where she is! You don’t need to remind her that she is only a shell of the remarkable person she used to be. She knows…

  • Mom on Call Jun 16, 2011

    Thank you to WRAL Documentary and Cullen Browder for doing such a great job with Lolo's story. You put a true face on what families affected by Alzheimer's are going through. Thank you to the Simpson family for being brave and courageous to allow the rest of the world in. My husband's mom is in the very late stages of ALZ...not an easy journey to witness.

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jun 15, 2011

    I will be sure to watch!

  • elbeefoster Jun 14, 2011

    I happen to know this guy, and the story speaks for itself. A son trying to do right by his Mom in a life-altering situation while raising his own family. Would there were more like him. What makes him unique is his skill as a writer to share what so many other caregivers and guardians don't have the words to express. Rock on, Mr. Dave!

  • sbattle04 Jun 13, 2011

    I am curious about the caller. Too calm, too exact. I smell something fishy about this story.