Dawna Friesen is a television journalist born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1964. She is currently the chief anchor and executive editor of Global National. Friesen was previously a foreign correspondent for NBC News.
Friesen opened up about her family and their battle with dementia in a special presentation for 16×9.
16x9 is an award-winning current affairs program which has been bringing its viewer's hard-hitting stories and issues affecting all Canadians. It airs ground-breaking investigations and an in-depth look at the various topics on hand.
52-year-old Friesen, whose parents are both suffering from dementia, appeared in an episode. She shares her heartbreaking emotional and personal journey on the show. Millions of other family joined her in sharing their moments who have been going through the same ordeal as Friesen. Their stories may have been different but their desperation watching helplessly as one of their loved ones has slowly disappeared in the darkness within their mind caused by this condition is the same.
16x9 made a presentation featuring the Netherlands, Thailand, and Canada for an up-close look at how families are struggling to care for their loved ones suffering from a condition with no cure. Giving its audience an overview of the world of dementia by touching down on three continents over a single 48 hour period, 16x9 made it a powerful and intimate hour.
The presentation highlighted several facts about this somber condition. Statistics indicated that one person in Canada is diagnosed about every five minutes. And if dementia were a country, it would have a population of more than 44 million people. And that this number is expected to double every 20 years. Worse still, about 15 percent of people with dementia are under age 65.
Friesen shared heartbreaking stories of her family. She said “Dad no longer recognizes me, cannot communicate, and can no longer see. When I kiss him on the cheek and say hi, I can’t even tell if he knows I am there. Mom has declined rapidly in the last three years, but still recognizes me. Just.”
After a happy affair, Friesen married Tom Kennedy, a Canadian television journalist, currently an investigative reporter for CTV's W5. Both the husband and wife have an estimated net worth of $2.5 million each.