In June, one-time PGA golfer and longtime CBS announcer Peter Oosterhuis announced he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. At that time, he had known about the condition for about a year.
Oosterhuis's awareness of the condition has proven to be a significant challenge in addition to his symptoms of the disease. An interview with Oosterhuis published by Golf Digest offers even more insight into his life post-diagnosis, and how he is learning to reconcile his changing present and an uncertain future. He also describes the role his longtime friend and fellow CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz has played in his battle with Alzheimer's.
Nantz founded the National Alzheimer Center after his father's diagnosis and death from the disease. He flew Oosterhuis to Houston for a checkup and care from some of the world's leading professionals.
"I'm now in a clinical trial for a drug that shows promise," Oosterhuis explains. "When you have friends like Jim, you feel there's always hope."
Before his career as a golf commentator, Oosterhuis won 20 professional events, including a Canadian Open against Jack Nicklaus.
Those memories are now in jeopardy, putting the commentator's self-identification at stake.
But many of the challenges brought by Alzheimer's concern even daily routine. Oosterhuis described a recent experience where he took an important phone message for his wife -- but when she returned home, he couldn't remember the content of the message, or even who had left it.
"I sat there racking my brain without success, and after a while I broke into tears," Oosterhuis says. "Tears of frustration. It's hard for the average person to understand how forgetting a simple phone message could make one so emotional."
Despite the uncertainty, Oosterhuis remains optimistic that there is hope ahead.
"A cure for Alzheimer's could come down very soon," he says. "So I promise to just keep swinging."