By: E&P Staff
A CBS TV movie called “Saving Milly” will air this Sunday, portraying the battle against Parkinson’s Disease waged by Milly Kondracke, with the aid of her husband, the columnist and Roll Call editor, Morton Kondracke.
Milly Kondracke, played by Madeleine Stowe in the film, died last summer, more than 15 years after being diagnosed with the gradually debilitating disease.
Bruce Greenwood plays her husband in the movie, which is based on the columnist’s book of the same name.
Kondracke serves on the boards of the Parkinson’s Action Network and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and says he hopes the movie raises awareness about the disease.
Fox, the well-known actor, appears at the close of the movie to deliver a message about the disease, from which he also suffers.
CBS.com describes the film this way:
“The movie recounts his inspiring love story with his activist wife, Milly, and the dramatic change in their lives in the years after she is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“As a young journalist in Chicago in the ’60s, Mort Kondracke envisioned marrying a Vassar graduate whose status would facilitate his goal of becoming a top Washington journalist. His calculated plans go awry when he meets and marries Milly Martinez, a brash part-Mexican, part-Catholic, part-Jewish liberal activist who captures his heart. In Washington, D.C., the loving, strong-willed partners build a passionate and volatile marriage while debating everything from politics to how to raise their two daughters as well as her insatiable, all-consuming desire to save the world by championing a never-ending list of causes — all overshadowed by Mort’s struggle with alcoholism.
“In 1987, their lives take a dramatic turn when Milly notices a change in her handwriting and a numbness in her fingers. After a series of tests, her worst fears are confirmed and, at the age of 47, Milly is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“Holding to his promise of ‘in sickness and in health,’ Mort changes his focus from being a die-hard careerist to becoming a devoted caregiver and Parkinson’s advocate and the love between the couple grows stronger. As her illness progresses, his life becomes committed to saving Milly.”