Special News Report Highlights Young Woman with FTD

WTHI-TV "Beyond the Reflection" Susan Dinkel and Kara Kirby

In a special report titled “Beyond the Reflection,” Indiana-based news station WTHI-TV shares the story of Kara Kirby, a young woman living with FTD in Illinois.

A nurse, wife, and mother, Kara was formally diagnosed with FTD at age 29, after her family spent more than a year and a half in and out of medical centers, searching for answers to explain her behavioral changes.

The two-part report, which aired on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, was inspired by a 60 Minutes segment on FTD that appeared in May. Through Kara’s story, reporter Susan Dinkel brings attention to FTD and emphasizes the need for increased awareness.

“Beyond the Reflection” highlights the effects of FTD on both Kara and her mother Dawn, who is Kara’s full-time care partner. Dawn recently told AFTD why she felt it was important to share her family’s story publicly.

“It took us so long to get a diagnosis and I felt like there wasn’t enough awareness. If someone had it on their radar that someone of Kara’s age could have a disease like this, then it wouldn’t have taken so long to diagnose her,” Dawn said. “We know with FTD that time is not always on your side, and if it takes a couple years to get a diagnosis, then that’s time you’ve lost with your family. We want to help others avoid that.”

Dawn reached out to AFTD for information and support after Kara was diagnosed in February.

“I truly appreciate AFTD for the education that I received after my daughter’s diagnosis,” she said. “In this journey we all need as much support as we can get, and I’m grateful we have an organization like AFTD that can coordinate that type of help.”

You can watch parts one and two of “Beyond the Reflection” by clicking here and here. WTHI-TV also covered a community benefit to support Kara and her family following the broadcast of the segment.

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