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‘A Christmas Story’ star Zack Ward says film's lesson is 'you have to take your life head on'


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‘A Christmas Story’ star Zack Ward says film's lesson is 'you have to take your life head on'

The actor recalls the lessons he learned from the iconic Christmas movie

By Julius Young | Fox News    12/25/2020

For Zack Ward, this Christmas is about more than family.

The "A Christmas Story" star, who famously played the role of neighborhood bully Scut Farkus in the iconic holiday flick, has a heavy heart this season as his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in July and "very quickly declined." Ward said he and his siblings elected to admit their father to a fully assisted living environment where he could receive better care than they themselves could provide.

"In the process of going through that, you learn a lot about what Alzheimer's does to people and how little research has been done to help these people out," Ward, 50, told Fox News while discussing the parallels he’s recognized by handling the debilitating disease and the concepts of family and facing one’s fears as seen in "A Christmas Story."

"There are not only the people who are suffering from Alzheimer's but the families that it affects," Ward continued. "There are around five million Americans living with Alzheimer's, but it affects another 16 million family members and friends who are trying to take care of that individual. And I can't agree that it's something that we should just throw our hands up at and just go, 'well, that's the way life goes.’ I think that's ridiculous."

The Alzheimer’s advocate said research should be treated "as an investment for your children’s futures" as they may one day find themselves living with the degenerative condition and may also require caregiving attention from others.

"If this was happening to people who are 40 years and under, the research would be through the roof," said Ward. "But there seems to be an attitude toward people 65 and older that we just kind of forget about them and we put them in a corner and wait for them to die. That seems really myopic and shortsighted."

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