As the Steve Lawrence song goes, “I’ve gotta be me” — and he brought that same forthright spirit to his recent announcement that he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I feel it’s important that I tell my own truth,” he said in a statement, according to People. “It’s in the early stages. I am being treated with medications under the supervision of some of the finest doctors in the field. Fortunately, they have managed to slow down this horrific process.”
The popular performer, 83, who found fame thanks to his smooth duets with wife Eydie Gormé, says he’s not letting his condition get him down: “I’m living my life, going out in public and trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends while I am still able to engage and enjoy.”
Steve first made beautiful music with Eydie (who died at 84 in 2013) when they sang together on Steve Allen’s The Tonight Show in the mid-’50s. “With my beloved Eydie, I had one of the great loves of all time,” Steve said in another statement, according to People. “My career has always been there for me as a source of joy and fulfillment, and my fans have shown immeasurable love and support in ways I only could have imagined.”
Steve and Eydie’s son, songwriter David Lawrence, and other loved ones have also been there for him. “The Lawrence family has helped just being by his side,” an insider exclusively tells Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “Given what he’s going through, Steve is in amazing spirits.”
Over the years, he’s always remained upbeat. “I want my beloved fans to know that in spite of this bittersweet moment, what I don’t want is pity or sympathy,” Steve has said. “As I continue this journey, I ask for your prayers, your good wishes and implore you to find the joy every day, because what I feel is gratitude, love and hope.”
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