ACasey Kasem, 81, a famous radio personality and voice actor, suffers from advanced Parkinson's disease, and he's not able to take comfort in his children or other members of his family. That’s because his wife won’t let him… or so claim his children as reported in The Inquisitr. To force his wife to relent, his daughter Kerri, along with her two siblings, Casey’s brother, and assorted friends and co-workers have staged a public protest outside Kasem's estate in Los Angeles yesterday, TMZ reported.
"He can't really speak, but he knows we're there,” Kerri Kasem told KABC. “And last time we saw him, he could shuffle a little bit. He had a hard, very hard, time walking. He was just deteriorating due to Parkinson's disease.”
Kerri Kasem is one of three children from his first marriage to Linda Myers, who was Casey’s wife for seven years from 1972 to 1979. Jean Kasem, who has one daughter with Casey, married Casey in 1980. Jean hasn't spoken about the situation, though she did call the police on the protesters.
"We fear that he's been isolated and neglected, and so that's why we stand here today," Gonzalo Venecia, Casey's former personal assistant, told KABC. Kasem founded the nationally syndicated American Top 40 countdown show, which he hosted from 1970 to 1988, and then again from 1998 to 2004. He also was the voice actor for the character Shaggy in Scooby-Doo, a Saturday morning cartoon that began in 1969.
“My dad is very sick, and we have been completely shut off from him for the last three months,” Kerri Kasem, 41, told The Inquisitr. “There is no money issue here, we just want to see our dad. We love him, and everyone knows his kids and grandkids are a source of joy for him.”
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Tremor is probably the most well-known symptom of Parkinson's disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system. Parkinson's disease ordinarily begins in middle or late life and the disease develops gradually until it affects all a person’s movements. The disorder commonly causes stiffness or a general slowing of movement in those who suffer from it. Other symptoms include soft or slurred speech. Commonly, the signs of the disease worsen as the condition progresses and although there is no cure, medication may help to at least improve the symptoms. In rare cases, surgery can be performed to regulate certain regions of the brain.
Although the exact cause of the disease remains obscure, genetics and environment both play a role and a few risk factors have been identified. For instance, it is known that men are more likely than women to develop Parkinson’s. Those with a close relative who has the disease are also at an increased risk of developing the disease; that risk is small, though, unless a person has many relatives with Parkinson’s. Scientists also believe consistent exposure to herbicides and pesticides over time may place an individual at an increased risk of Parkinson's disease.