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Larry King Live
Anne Graham Lotz Offers Insights on the Health of Her Father, the Reverend Billy GrahamAired May 18, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
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LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the world is worried about Dr. Billy Graham. His daughter, Anne Graham Lotz is here with insights on his health and her religious faith. Plus living long and being well -- best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil joins us from Tucson to discuss Billy Graham and his message of good health.
That's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Today's issue of "USA Today" has a major feature story on our guest today, Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham. Her new book is "Just Give Me Jesus." There you see its cover. She's holding five arena revival weekends throughout the year 2000. We're here to discuss her father, her own career. And when Andrew Weil joins us, we'll discuss at length Parkinson's disease and the afflictions affecting her dad. I know he's on the way home from Mayo Clinic. How is he today?
ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ, BILLY GRAHAM'S DAUGHTER: I think he's doing well. In fact, he's on the way to sister's graduation. My sister is a little bit younger than me and she's taken maybe 10 years to get through college, and she's on graduating Saturday, and he's going to her graduation.
KING: And he's feeling better, and they released him, and they issued a whole statement. We'll read that to you in a while when Dr. Weil joins us so we have medical thoughts as well, because you're not a doctor, and I'm not a doctor. But he is amazing, your dad.
LOTZ: He is amazing. In fact, I was just home this past weekend for Mother's Day. I went up, and he came in that afternoon. I fixed a dinner for him. I had roast, and potatoes and carrots, all of vegetables, homemade apple pie. He ate everything.
KING: How's your mom? Just got a note from her in the hospital. She's just out.
LOTZ: Well, she's doing much better. She's had three hip replacements on the same hip since January, so they just kept popping out. Now this one seems to be staying put.
You know, the blessing of my mother is that she is so interested, she is so bright, she never complains -- the joy of the Lord just bubbles out of her. Anybody who's in her presence is blessed to be there.
KING: And you father has told us many times, he expects to keep on going. He'll probably want to die in a pulpit, is that right?
LOTZ: That's exactly right.
KING: That would be his wish.
LOTZ: That's right, yes.
KING: Where you have been? We know Frank. Where have you -- Anne Graham Lotz -- preacher -- where have you.
LOTZ: I've been busy. I don't know...
KING: Raising children, married to a dentist, right?
LOTZ: Yes. I have three grown children -- they're all married -- a husband, and I've also been teaching the Bible for almost 25 years now.
KING: Sunday school kind of thing?
LOTZ: No. For 12 years I taught a large Bible class for women in my city of Raleigh, North Carolina, about 500 ladies, Never missed a class in 12 years, every call, and then God called me out of that into an itinerant ministry so that I've accepted invitations from around the world, and for the last 12 years, I've just traveled -- I call our ministry Angel Ministries. Stick my initials AGL, put the angel in between, because angels in the Bible were messengers of God, and they went where God sent them and they give the message you put on their heart, and I felt that describes what I do.
KING: You are not ordained though.
KING: So you're not Reverend Anne Graham Lotz.
KING: Did you think of ordination?
KING: Why not?
LOTZ: Well, I just don't feel that that's what God has for me. You know, in the Bible, ordination, I don't see that in the Scripture. In the Bible, it's whether you're filled with the Holy Spirit, whether you're anointed by God, whether you're called by God, whether you're obedient to him. I want to be those things, but I don't see any purpose for me in being ordained.
KING: You obviously inherited talent from your father, and you look a lot like your dad. Do you feel a rivalry with your brother? LOTZ: Absolutely not.
KING: Because he's out preaching all over.
LOTZ: And I'm so thrilled with what God done with his life. I've seen Franklin before.
KING: He had tough times.
LOTZ: And I've seen him after. And every time I see my brother, I just praise God for God's grace in his life. Because if God can change Franklin from a prodigal into a man of God, he can do it for anybody.
KING: Did you ever have rough times?
LOTZ: Not like Franklin.
KING: You had depression, though.
LOTZ: Kind of.
KING: You had miscarriages.
LOTZ: Yes, and early in my marriage, I felt like I drifted from God just because I was busy -- you know, small children, small house, all the business of being a housewife. But I sought God through the Scripture. That's when I got into the Bible myself.
My mother told me not to waste my wilderness years. You know, like Moses on the back side of the desert for 40 years, or Elijah besides the brick tier (ph) for three, or Paul in the deserts of Arabia for three years, and sometimes God sets aside his servants because he has the time to prepare them, you know, when they're not busy and active, and so I felt like those times were times of preparation for me.
KING: Explain the title, "Just Give Me Jesus."
LOTZ: Well, it's come out of a desperate cry of my own heart. The last two years -- you know, I live in eastern Carolina, we've have hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, devastating our property. And then during the past two years, my husband's dental office burned to the ground, had been there for over 30 years, and one night it just burned to the ground. And my son was diagnosed with cancer, went through major surgery, radiation. All three of my children got married in an eight-month period. I've published books and written others, traveled, mother's been through all of her hospitalizations, and in my heart, I just want Jesus. I don't want to be entertained. I don't want visuals or musicals. I don't want a vacation. I don't want to quit. I don't want sympathy. The cry of my heart is "Just Give Me Jesus."
KING: And that gives you a fulfilled life? Don't you want music and movies? LOTZ: Yes, but when you suffer, and when you're struggling, it's like it brings you down to the bottom line. And the other things, they seem like they're secondary or superficial, and you just want what really matters, and you want what really satisfies and gives joy and peace in the midst of all of that.
KING: And in the book, you tell us how you do that?
LOTZ: In the book, I not only share my personal experiences, but it's drawn from the gospel of John, so every chapter is just a story of Jesus that the Apostle John describes in his book, and it just tries to describe Jesus in relation to our lives.
KING: Now the story in the paper today says that unlike your father and your brother, who go out to get people to come to Christ, you speak to people who are already there. You are preaching to the choir -- would you agree with that? You're speaking to believers, correct?
LOTZ: Well, in the sense that I'm speaking primarily -- yes, that's right.
KING: So what do you have to say to people who are already there?
LOTZ: I think many people who are already there are already there are like when Israel was delivered, the children of God were delivered from bondage to slavery in Egypt and they landed in the wilderness, but God hadn't delivered them from bondage to slavery for laying in the wilderness. He wanted them to get to the promised land. And I think a lot of people who are believers sit in church, and they are in the wilderness going in circles, going nowhere with God. They don't get answers to prayer. They don't make an impact on other people's lives. There is no real joy and satisfaction in their relationship with God. And I feel that God has called me, and perhaps even gifted me, to awaken them in their relationship with God, to lead them out of that going-nowhere existence with God into the promise land, where they might know his blessing in their lives.
BAY: Are there times you doubt?
LOTZ: I don't doubt God.
LOTZ: No, I don't doubt him like I wouldn't doubt your existence there, I wouldn't doubt my parents'.
KING: Even when the flood hits and the husband's office burns down.
LOTZ: No. And here's the wonderful thing about a fate that's alive, and when your relationship with God is awakened in reality is that can you trust them when the hard things come, and you know he has a greater purpose for them. And many one of the greater purposes was to give a heart's cry for Jesus so that I write the book and then even hold these revivals.
KING: Our guest is Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham. Her book is "Just Give Me Jesus." At the bottom of the hour, Dr. Andrew Weil will join us. At that time, we'll discuss the medical condition and review what Mayo Clinic had to say today about the status of her father. In Christmas of 1998, one of my many interviews with Dr. Graham, here are his thoughts on illness and God's role in them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 1998)
REV. BILLY GRAHAM: I think he's teaching me some wonderful lessons. It's a great experience for me.
KING: Great experience?
GRAHAM: Yes, a great experience. My wife was in her car, and she went through a fence and went down 70 feet, just straight down, and totaled the car, and she was able to be pulled out by the police. When she got out, the police said the first thing she said was "What a great experience." That's how I feel. We're both that way, because we're looking forward to going to another world.
KING: You approach death with no fear at all.
LOTZ: No fear at all. I'm looking forward to it. I wish it would hurry up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Her father's called her the best preacher the family. She's Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham. Dr. Andrew Weil will join us on the bottom of the hour. At that time, we'll get into a more detailed discussion of the afflictions affecting her, father who will be 82 this November. Her next revival, by the way, will be in Atlanta, August 25 and 26th. She just did one last week in Dallas- Ft. Worth.
You brought along some pictures, family pictures.
LOTZ: That's right, some family pictures.
KING: Let's run them down. You tell us what we're looking at.
LOTZ: All right, this is at our old house in Montreat, and my sister Gigi on the left. I'm in the middle. That dog, by the way, is a great pyranese. He's named Belschnauser (ph). He grew up with us. And then my younger sister, Bunny, is on my mother's lap, and that's daddy.
KING: No boys in this one, right?
LOTZ: No boys in this one.
KING: You're in the middle -- that's you.
LOTZ: that's me.
KING: And this was in his study in our house in Montreat, and my sister Bunny is on the left. Franklin, who've you had on the program several times, I think is sitting on my mother's lap. There's my mother, my sister, Gigi, daddy, and then I'm sitting on the arm of daddy's chair.
KING: There you are.
LOTZ: There I am.
And then this is daddy reading to us, which I can tell you was a very rare experience, except in our family devotions, but my sister Bunny -- and actually she calls herself Ruth now -- and then I'm on my knees beside my daddy, and then behind me is my sister Gigi.
KING: Rare that he would read to the family?
LOTZ: That's a storybook. Well, not in a storybook. He would read the Bible and evening devotions. In fact, he still does that. When I go home, he opens the bible and cheers the Scriptures.
KING: Wasn't he away a lot when you were growing up?
LOTZ: He was away almost full time. I was raised pretty much by single parents and grandparents, and then I didn't know any different. I mean, that was the kind of home in which I was raised, and this was mother and daddy's 50th wedding anniversary. My brother, Ned, is on the left, my sister Gigi, Franklin, and my mother, that's her wedding dress that she actually made and wore 50 years before that picture was taken.
My daddy in his very favorite outfit. He just loves blue jeans and blue jean shirts so. And then my sister, Bunny, who now calls herself Ruth, and me.
And this was a picture taken at I believe a Billy Graham -- Billy and Ruth Graham Children's Hospital dedication in Nashville. My sister Gigi is on the left, and I'm in the pink jacket. My sister Ruth, my mother, my daddy, Franklin and Ned.
KING: What does Ned do?
LOTZ: Ned is head of East Gate Ministries, which works with a church in mainland China. He's based in Seattle, Washington. And mother and daddy.
KING: And mother and daddy and Annie.
LOTZ: That's right.
And this was taken just this year, actually at my father's team meeting in San Diego. My husband is on the left. You can see just a little bit of his face, and then my daddy, and he is a very precious person.
KING: When he said he's look forward to dying, do you believe that?
LOTZ: Well, I think he is in the fact that he's looking forward to seeing God face to face, but...
KING: And he has no doubt he's going to.
LOTZ: No doubt. I have no doubt that my daddy is going to be in God's presence when he dies.
KING: This may be the hardest question to answer. How, Anne, do you know that?
LOTZ: Because the Bible says. I believe it's God's word. So that's probably the bottom-line thing you have to decide, if you believe it's God's word.
KING: You had to make that leap of faith. Did you make it on your own? Was it drilled into you?
LOTZ: The foundation was laid in my life, but it was when I was a little girl. I was watching Cecil B. DeMille film called "King of Kings." It used to come on every evening, and it was a depiction of a life of Jesus, and I was watching that crucifixion scene and began to weep, and my mother recognized that I wasn't just feeling sorry for somebody dying, but that I was really convicted of my sins, and so I bowed my head, I asked God to forgive me of my sin, I asked Jesus to come into my heart, and I believe at that point I became a child of God, received eternal life, and for the rest of my life, no matter when I die, you know, whatever happens, I believe, because I'm a child of God, that I'll be ushered right into his heavenly home.
KING: How do you know it isn't a crutch?
LOTZ: Well, it may be a crutch, but I need it. You know, I'm not -- the Bible says nobody can get to Heaven on their own. You can't work your way up. You think of who God is, how could we be good enough? How could we do enough good work? How could we be perfect enough to please a holy God? And so he has sent our son to be our holy savior, that when we claim Jesus as our savior, God accepts me, but based on my relationship with Jesus.
KING: How about when your own church -- you're Southern Baptists, right?
LOTZ: Yes, I belong to Southern Baptists.
KING: The time Southern Baptist -- blacks couldn't worship in a Southern Baptist church. That was terrible.
LOTZ: Well, when that was taking place, I was a Presbyterian. I was raised in Montreat, which is a Southern Presbyterian conference. My mother was daughter of Presbyterian missionaries.
KING: And some don't think a woman should be a preacher, right? There are some in the old Southern Baptist folk who think that's that -- do you respond to them?
LOTZ: Well, you know, I feel like I'm not accountable to them. I'm accountable to God and his call in my life, and I think each of us needs to study the Scriptures for ourselves and determine what we believe the Bible is saying, and I think there are a lot of things out there that have been passed down from generation to generation that aren't true, and so the thing about blacks not coming into the church, that somehow they're not equal, that wasn't true, it never has been true, but it just got passed down and within the church, and it's a shame. And so what I'm trying to do is teach the Scriptures in such a way that people who call themselves by God's name will know really what God says so that we could live accordingly to his word.
KING: Our guest is Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, The book is "Just Give Me Jesus." We'll discuss more about her father's condition when Dr. Andrew Weil joins us from Arizona. This is LARRY KING LIVE.
Don Johnson tomorrow night.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 1998)
KING: So you'll ask God not to see that you don't have pain, right, physical pain?
REV. BILLY GRAHAM: No, I'll say, Lord, you will be done. If you want me to have physical pain, you're going to teach me a lesson, I'm ready, and it doesn't bother me at all. I'm looking forward to that.
KING: Do you realize how hard that is to understand for most people?
REV. BILLY GRAHAM: Yes I do, I do. It's hard for me to understand when it happens, but that is what the Bible teaches.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1949)
REV. BILLY GRAHAM: First of all, you have to meet God with life. I do not believe that any man, that any man can solve the problems of life without Jesus Christ. There are tremendous marital problems. There are physical problems. There are financial problems. There are problems of sin and habit that cannot be solved outside the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Was there a lot of pressure growing up as the daughter of that man?
LOTZ: No. You know what, we never felt the pressure, because my mother was so wonderful, and she raised us in a very small town, and we didn't really -- I don't think we were aware of who our daddy was in the sense that you might be aware of him. And he was just our daddy. He was gone a lot, he came home. We knew he served Jesus. But we were protected from a lot of that glare and the pressure, so the we had a very normal childhood.
KING: You knew what he was doing, though?
LOTZ: We knew what he was doing, but we didn't travel with him to crusade. You know, back then, they didn't have TV like they do now. We listened to him on the radio ever Sunday afternoon. We could have our candy bar and a Coke, and we could listen to our daddy on the radio.
KING: Do you like speaking as well? Do you enjoy crowds? Do you like preaching the preach?
LOTZ: No, actually I don't, in the sense that I don't enjoy being in front of people.
KING: He loves it.
LOTZ: Well, he and I are a little bit of same. We just feel we're under compulsion. We have a message that we want to give out, and we believes God's called us to do it, and we're trying to be obedient to God. But when I first starting doing this, and just teaching my bible class, I used to go and throwup before every time. It just terrified me, all they're faces.
LOTZ: Absolutely. I tend to be a private, sort of shy person. But when you have something in your heart or -- and you know the truth and you're wanting to get it across and make an impact on other people's lives, you can't hold it back. You know, if you love people and care about them, you want to share the truth about them.
KING: We'll be asking Dr. Weil about his condition, to describe what a prostate is and the other afflictions that affect your father and what is it like. But what is it like to watch someone vibrant, both parents grow old?
LOTZ: It's hard, you know. It's very difficult. I know a lot of people my age are going through this with their parents.
KING: A friend of mine has a 95-year-old mother. It's really -- it's hard on them.
LOTZ: Yes, it is. But you know, the thing that makes it easy for us in a sense is that mother and daddy grow more feeble and physically more weak, their character comes out. And we see an investment, like in daddy's case, 82 years, you know, mother she'll will be 80 in June, and to see the investment of years of faith and the relationship in God. The time spent in prayer, the time in his word, the time making right choices, one after another, until the character comes out in them. It's such a blessing to be around them. My daddy is sweeter, and gentler, and more interested, more attentive than he's ever been, at least within the family. There is a calmness and a sweetness. You sense the character of Christ coming out in them.
KING: And thanks heavens no Alzheimer's, right?
LOTZ: Thank heavens no Alzheimer's. What a blessing. That would be so hard.
KING: Just to straighten out something that was in the "USA Today" story. Were you attacking Catholicism. They quoted you as saying, "You don't have to count beads." What do you mean? Because the pope is 80 today.
LOTZ: Right. And he's somebody they admire enormously. In order to get into Heaven, you don't have to count beads, you don't have to go to church every time the door opens, you don't have to be a Baptist, you don't have to be a Methodist, you don't have to do anything except place your faith in Jesus.
KING: And because you placed your faith in him and you claim his as your savior, then heavens door is open to him. And those who don't, don't. The Jews, Muslims or others don't go?
LOTZ: The Bible says -- in fact, this is interesting, my daddy lives in a place in Montreat. I don't know if you've ever been to our home, but it's secured. It has a fence around it, a gate. And if the average person drove up to that gate, and said -- you know, knocked on the gate, "Billy Graham, would you let me in?" They would say, "Well, who are you?" "Well, I give to your ministry. I watch you on TV. I want to come up and live in your house." And my daddy would say, "I'm sorry, you know, this is my home; you can't come here." But if I drive up to that gate, the gate is flung open, and I'm welcomed in, and the difference is because I'm the father's child, and Heaven is God's home, and he has told us in the Bible who he'll he let in and who he's going to keep out.
KING: So if you don't believe, you're not going in?
LOTZ: If you're not his child, he says, if you haven't placed your faith in Jesus as your personal savior, the Bible says that he'll keep you out.
KING: We'll take a break, and here's -- and Dr. Weil will be joining us in a couple of moments after the next break.
But into this break, here's Billy Graham talking about Parkinson's.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 1998)
KING: What was the onset of Parkinson's? What was the first thing you discovered? REV. BILLY GRAHAM: The first thing that I noticed is that I got so my writing was smaller and smaller and smaller, and I couldn't spell, and after a while I had loss of memory, especially short-term memory, and I still have a problem with my memory. I can be up in the pulpit speaking, and I come to a Scripture verse, let's say that I've known since I was a child, and I forget it ,and I can't say it, and...
REV. BILLY GRAHAM: Very frustrating, but people think that I'm pausing for effect.
KING: Still works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's take a call for Anne Graham Lotz, and then we'll be meeting Dr. Weil. Gainesville, Florida, Hello.
CALLER: Hello. My father was a Southern Baptist minister, and my husband was Southern Baptist minister, and after 37 years of marriage, three years ago he left me and left the church, and then daddy died and then mama died. And I just wondered what she would say to me so that I can keep faith?
LOTZ: I will tell you that God loves you, and that the Bible says that when you receive Jesus Christ by faith that he will never leave you nor forsake you. And I'm sorry for what man has done to you, what your husband has done to you, and you know, your parents leaving you. But God will never leave you, and if you just turn to him, and spend time with him in prayer and word, he will fill your life. And you know, there is a verse, Larry, that God gave in Psalm 27:10, because my father in a sense, I mean, he was gone so much that I was raised by single parent. And Psalm 27:10 says that when your mother and father forsake you that the Lord will take you up. And I believe because I didn't have an earthly father with me, you know, like maybe a normal child would, that I have a relationship with God as a result, that's the treasure of my life. I don't think I would know God like I do today if it weren't for the fact that I didn't have a father present all the time.
KING: But if you had a Southern Baptist preacher husband who left you, you might have some questions?
POTZ: Well, you would have some questions about him.
KING: Omaha, Nebraska, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Good evening, Anne.
First of all, I wanted to say that you're a gorgeous woman. You look just like your father. You remind me of your father. POTZ: Thank you.
CALLER: And I bet you're so proud of him.
What do you and your father think of different religions, such as Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism? What do you think is the purpose for all of these different religions?
LOTZ: Well, I never answer for my father, so I'll just have to speak for myself if that's all right. But I think the other religions in the world are man's effort to reach up to God, and they're man trying to reach to God and trying to, you know, gain acceptance by him, trying to work their way into Heaven. Christianity is the only one where we have God reaching down to man. And the Bible teaches we really can't work our way to god. There's nothing that we could do to climb our way into Heaven. We can't be good enough, we can't do enough good works, we can't prove ourselves to God. So it's a futile effort to try to climb up to God, which is why he sent his son to be our savior.
KING: So you believe yours is the right religion?
LOTZ: I believe Jesus Christ is the truth, the way to life.
KING: We'll take a break, and Dr. Andrew Weil will join us. And when we come back, we'll read you the Mayo Clinic's statement on Billy Graham's health. We'll get Dr. Andrew Weil's thoughts on all of this as well, and Anne Graham Lotz will remain with us.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 1998)
KING: You have faith in the medical world, right?
LOTZ: Absolutely. My father-in-law was a great doctor and a great friend and counselor to me, and I had many conversations about it with him. I do believe, I believe that God has given us medicine and he's given us the brains of medical people, and I thank God for them. I thank God for all the pills they give you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our guest is Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, and we're now joined by Dr. Andrew Weil, always good to have him with us. He's in Tucson, Arizona. He's the bestselling author of the number-one bestselling book, "Eating Well for Optimum Health." He's director of the program in integrated medicine at the University of Arizona, he's a graduate of Harvard, and the founder of the Foundation for Integrative Medicine.
Let me read you, Dr. Weil, the Mayo Clinic statement on Billy Graham today: "Billy Graham was released today from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota following his twice yearly exam. While his Parkinson's condition continues to be slowly progressive, we're encouraged by his improvement due to recent therapy. We've determined that problems related to his balance are multifactorial, and making modest changes in his medical regimen."
What does that mean?
DR. ANDREW WEIL, AUTHOR, "EATING WELL FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH": Well, first of all, let me say, I'm not familiar with the Reverend Graham's medical condition, so this is all speculation. But if he's been having balance problems, that could come from the Parkinson's disease, but apparently, the Mayo doctors concluded there are other causes. Those other causes could be other brain problems. They could be an inner-ear problem. It could be reactions to medications that he was taking. Could be circulatory problems in the head. So apparently, all that has to be investigated to find out if there is a cause that can be treated.
KING: Is Parkinson's always regressive?
WEIL: It is always progressive.
KING: I mean a regressive -- it doesn't get better.
WEIL: It doesn't get better. And we have no cure for it. However, it can progress slowly. It can extend over a long period of time. People can adapt to the changes in it. There are medical treatments and surgical treatments for it, which are variably effective, and there are other things out there that can help people as well, but it is a progressive disorder.
KING: Do you believe, Dr. Weil, that his belief helps him?
WEIL: I have to believe that, because I have seen in many patients that I've treated over the years that when you're faced with an overwhelming condition or a terminal condition, I think being able to accept that or come to terms with it is one of the chief factors that determines how do you as a disease progressive. So I think faith that gives you comfort or gives you a way of explaining what's happening to you is very, very important.
KING: You'd agree with that, of course, Anne.
LOTZ: I think so, absolutely.
KING: His own feelings by not being afraid count a lot, right?
LOTZ: That's right, because there's a peace in his heart. You know, he knows where he's going. But I will tell you he can get very frustrated with the limitations of physical body. In fact, he made the statement that he has been taught all his life how to die, but nobody ever taught him how to grow old. But I told them, I told my mother and daddy, I watched them, and they're teaching me how to grow old. KING: We don't know, do we, Dr. Weil, how to grow old?
WEIL: Well, certainly have a lot of models around to watch it, and we see people growing old all the time. We watch our parents grow old and die. We watch...
KING: But we never think we're going to feel like 80.
WEIL: I think that's quite true. Well, on one sense, and I'm sure this is your experience as well, is no matter what our chronological age is, there is some part that always feels the same. So I think there is some essence that doesn't age, but we are living in bodies that age and change, and I think we have to deal with those changes.
KING: Obviously. He also has prostate cancer. Let me ask, do you know if he's been surgically operated for prostate cancer?
LOTZ: No, he has not. And I'll tell you, I don't know if I'm allowed to do this or not.
KING: Go ahead.
LOTZ: Yes, why not.
KING: He's 82. What is he going to do to you.
LOTZ: His PSA is down to zero, so I understand that that's just really wonderful. So we're just...
KING: That's marvelous.
LOTZ: That's a real praise. Yes, marvelous. So that was one of the things that came out of the last visit to Mayo.
KING: But he had -- along the way, he could have had surgery. Is it true, Dr. Weil, usually in later years, they don't do surgery?
WEIL: Yes, he might have had radiation treatment, he might have had drug treatment for that, but whatever, that's a very good result.
KING: And you don't do surgery, you don't do prostate cancer surgery on someone in their late 70s, do you?
KING: You do not.
WEIL: Not usually.
KING: So it's down to zero. Now what about the aging process, growing older. What should -- what don't we know about that we should know?
WEIL: Well, I think there's a tremendous amount that we don't know. You know, there is now active research in aging. I think the whole field of geriatric medicine is still fairly primitive. One of the big questions is how much of the way we age is genetically determined, and how much is environmentally determined? We really don't know. You know, the way that your parents age might be a chief determinative of how you age. But recent research suggests that environmental factors are very important -- how you eat, how you exercise, your mental activity, and that's very encouraging, because that means whatever your genetic background, there might be things we can do to benefit the aging process.
KING: Did your parents take good care of themselves, Anne?
LOTZ: Yes. In fact today, I think one thing that slowed down daddy's Parkinson's, he's so disciplined about his eating, so disciplined about his exercise. You know, he takes a lot of weights with him, even when he travels, he's lifting weights. He walks at home. In fact on Sunday afternoon, I took a walk with him. And so he is still very disciplined about the way he maintains his personal health.
KING: And your grandparents, did they live long?
LOTZ: No, not so long. Actually my -- you know, my grandmother lived until she was in her 70s, but my grandfather lived -- he died when he was in his 50s. And they were hard workers, they grew up on a farm.
KING: Both sides?
LOTZ: No, my other side, they were in their 80s when they died, my mother's parents.
KING: Mother's side?
KING: But is it usually one side or the other that determines. It is more the father's than the mother's, Andrew?
WEIL: No, I don't think so. And you know what, with Parkinson's, although we don't know the cause of it, it appears to result from some kind of injury to very sensitive structures in the brain that regulate movement. That injury could be an infection, it could be a chemical injury, it could be some other kind of environmental injury -- we don't know -- but there are strategies for protecting the brain from injury, in particular, making sure that you get plenty of antioxidants from your diet by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and plenty of omega 3 fatty acids from fish, for example, which also protects the structure of the brain. So that's useful information to know when you're dealing with these mysterious diseases.
KING: And I know you've written this, of course, a very successful book. Obviously, that he eats well, and exercises and takes care of himself, that kind of discipline adds to your life?
WEIL: You know, whenever you've got a degenerative disease or progressive disease, the better your general health, the better you will deal with that condition. So the fact that he had these disciplined habits for much of his life certainly stands him in good stead now.
KING: Now, Anne, he's been told, the rest of the statement said, that he'll continue, he's going to go this weekend to -- your youngest daughter's graduation from Mary Baldwin College, and he can fulfill his ministerial obligations, including a crusade in Nashville in June, and host a 10-day international conference in Amsterdam in July.
LOTZ: And then he's got another meeting in November in Jacksonville, Florida.
KING: So these tabloids that have him at death's door can't be right.
LOTZ: No, no, absolutely not right at all.
KING: Now it seems, Dr. Weil, incredible to me that someone with Parkinson's, prostate can do a 10-day conference in Amsterdam in July?
WEIL: That is very impressive. And I think it is -- that must be a testament to his will, and his drive and his faith.
KING: State of mind -- I want to discuss that after we come back from the break. Dr. Andrew Weil is with us, and so is Anne Graham Lotz. Her book is "Just Give Me Jesus." She's the daughter of Billy Graham. This is LARRY KING LIVE.
Saturday night on LARRY KING LIVE, an encore weekend with Prince. That's his name again.
Don't go away.
KING: Dr. Weil, during the break, I asked Anne if her parents take vitamins, and she says her mother is taking loads of stuff every day. Her father's taking loads of stuff. We can assume that they are a lot of the stuff you talk about, the herbal foods, and the amino acids and the like?
LOTZ: Adelle Davis.
KING: Adelle Davis years ago used to talk about this, and they laughed at her, right?
LOTZ: But my mother read all of her books and just followed it very carefully.
KING: She was ahead of her time, right. Dr. Weil?
WEIL: Absolutely, very much ridiculed at the time, but -- and while some of her advice has not held up, a lot of it still is very sensible.
KING: Let's take a call. Charlotte, North Carolina -- hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Thank you for having me on your...
CALLER: ... answering my call. I was raised a Southern Baptist and always have been and still am very proud of it. But I was wondering, what do you and your father think about the harsh and often un-Christian-like attitude towards Disney that the so-called "leaders" of the Baptist Church -- Southern Baptist Church are now expounding against Disney and also against homosexuals? I mean, it's a very un- Christian-like attitude, and I know that's not what your father thinks. What do you and your father think about the leadership?
LOTZ: You know, I've never talked to my father about the Southern Baptist boycotts of Disney World and some of these other things...
KING: What do you think?
LOTZ: ... so I really don't know his opinion. And I haven't followed it that carefully either. What I do think is that we need to have convictions, what we really believe is right and wrong, and follow them. And if that leads you to boycott Disney, then I think you should do it.
For myself, if we start boycotting everybody who doesn't agree with us or promote something that we don't agree with, we'll probably live a very isolated life, you know.
KING: Dr. Weil, back to the illness factor. If both are ill and her mother is not well and she's frail and the father is ill, does that create more problems?
WEIL: Obviously. I mean, first of all, it creates a great deal of problems for both members of a marriage. It creates problems for children who have to become caretakers, it's a strain on finances. You know, this is a common situation among older people. I think it's a tremendous stress when both people are -- have problems.
KING: Do they lean on each other, Anne?
LOTZ: Yes, I think so. And it was so sweet. Sunday, my father had been gone for a while because he'd been at Mayo's, and it was Mother's Day, and I'd gone up there to be with my mother. He came in Sunday afternoon, and we walked back to the bedroom where my mother was -- she was seated in a chair by her bay window. And when he walked in the room -- she had dressed up. She had on her makeup, her jewelry, her hair was all combed. She looked beautiful. And to see her struggle to her feet -- you know, she's had the hip replacement -- so she struggled up to her feet because she didn't want to greet him sitting down. And to see him -- and when he leans over he's so afraid that he'll lose his balance, and he has a cane. But to see him lean down and her leaning up to kiss each other and to greet each other, you know, they're very much in love with each other at this stage, and it's wonderful for me as a child to see. And they enjoy each other, you know? And I mean, there are moments. You know, especially, my father has a hard time hearing. He wears a hearing aid. And my mother's voice drops, so sometimes it's comical for us, but it's frustrating for them because he can't hear her. So she's having to repeat herself again and again, and she's tired and, you know, so sometimes that gets frustrating.
KING: Do you understand, Doctor Weil, his lack of fear of death?
WEIL: Well, I assume that comes directly from his faith, and it clearly is very admirable. I think the majority of people are afraid of death. I think that coming to terms with one's own mortality is one of the great challenges of life.
WEIL: We're all going to die, we're all going to grow old. I think how you conceive of that, how you accept that, that's very much -- very integral to who you are.
KING: By the way, does Mayo Clinic, one of the most famed clinics in the world, are they now accepting more integrative concept of medicine?
WEIL: Well, I have had some inquiries from physicians who work at Mayo, and I think they're interested. I think, really, any clinic today has to face up to the enormous consumer demand for integrative treatment. And when you're dealing with a condition like Parkinson's, where the conventional treatment is limited in its effectiveness, it's very important to explore what else is there.
People with Parkinson's can greatly benefit from acupuncture, which can relieve muscle stiffness. They can benefit from stress reduction techniques, which can reduce the tremor. They can benefit from good nutrition, from various forms of physical therapy. So I think this is a classic kind of disease where integrative treatment is very useful.
KING: When -- when -- I don't like to -- when -- if you die of Parkinson's, what kills you?
WEIL: Well, the movement disorder becomes progressive to a point where people's ability to move around is severely limited. And when people don't move, they become weakened and susceptible to infection. Although Parkinson's does not usually affect intellectual functions in its early stages, in later stages there can be a dementia associated with it that can become severe. So usually it's a general debility that leads to immobility and death from other causes.
KING: What's the toughest part for you, Anne, of this? When you go there, what's the toughest part?
LOTZ: Just watching them, I think. KING: Have movement difficulties?
LOTZ: Yes, you know, to see my daddy not able get up out of a chair easily, not able to walk up through the woods without somebody taking his arm maybe or just -- I get so concerned when he takes a walk by himself, because we live in the mountains of North Carolina, and it's not even terrain. And he loves to take a walk. He loves to hike with his dogs. And it's hard to see him unable to do some of those things. Even when I come home, he's such a gentleman, he wants to come to the car and help me with my bags and get me in the house and take me up to my room, and he can't do that anymore. And the hardest thing...
WEIL: You know, Anne, Larry said earlier that we aren't given instructions on how to grow old. I think we're also not given instructions on how to take care of aging parents. And, you know, many people of my generation are now dealing with parents who are old, who are infirm, who are dying. And we have to learn how to do that. It is a challenge and a burden that's difficult. It's emotionally challenging. It would be helpful if we had some instruction in how to do all that.
LOTZ: It would sort of be nice to have a pair of parents to practice on before you have to go through it.
WEIL: Yes, yes.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Anne Graham Lotz. Her book is "Just Give Me Jesus." Dr. Andrew Weil's runaway best seller is "Eating Well For Optimum Health."
Don Johnson's with us tomorrow night. I'm Larry King, and we'll be right back.
KING: We're back. Take another call.
Portland, Oregon -- hello.
CALLER: Hi, I had a question for Dr. Weil.
CALLER: In hearing about Michael J. Fox's having -- what do you call it?
CALLER: Parkinson's, my question is, is this a genetic disease, comparing it with Reverend Graham?
KING: One person gets it so young, one person gets it old.
WEIL: No, usually...
KING: Is there trace effects here?
KING: I mean, genetically.
WEIL: Parkinson's is usually a disease of older people. You know, it's typically people in the 50s, 60s and older. Occasionally young people get it. I've seen a man in his 30s who developed Parkinson's. I've seen several patients who've gotten it in their 40s. That is unusual. We don't know the cause, as I said. We don't know whether there is an inherited susceptibility to it. I think the general pattern is some kind of injury, whether that's a viral infection, a toxin, some kind of insult to very delicate structures in the brain.
KING: Now your mother has had a lot of hip replacement surgeries, right?
LOTZ: Yes, she had one maybe 20, 25 years ago, and in January she had that one replaced. And then in February she had that one replaced. She went through three since January. They just kept popping out.
KING: These are very commonplace, right Dr. Weil?
WEIL: Yes, not only commonplace, but I think it's one of the better procedures of modern standard medicine. It's a technique that we've really got down that really can change people's lives for the better. I think we're good at hip replacement.
KING: Why do so many old people break their hip?
WEIL: Well, the commonest underlying process is osteoporosis. That is a demineralization and weakening of the bones that has many roots. There is a genetic component, people that -- women who are of slighter build are more susceptible to this. Men are susceptible to this later in life than women because their hormone levels don't change until later. Nutritional factors play a role, exercise plays a role.
KING: And they fall, right? Doesn't -- don't they fall a lot, too?
WEIL: Actually, in many cases the fall might be the result of the fracture. That is, the bone has become so weak that it snaps. And that causes a person to fall.
But the underlying problem is osteoporosis. And this is something all people should be concerned about, especially women. And it's not something you want to wait until menopause to try to correct. These are -- there are things you can do early in life. I think even teenage girls should begin to think about proper nutrition, proper exercise.
KING: Should Anne be more careful because her mother has it? WEIL: Yes, she should. And she should get a bone-density test done to see where she's at, and to look at strategies that she can do to avoid thinning of bones if she has any susceptibility to that.
KING: Ah-ha, see, Anne? We helped you tonight. You help us, we help you.
LOTZ: That's right, thanks.
KING: We'll be back with remaining moments with Anne Graham Lotz -- great pleasure to have her with us for the first time -- and of course a frequent guest, Dr. Andrew Weil.
Our remaining moments after this.
KING: As Dr. Weil said, Anne, everybody dies. Do you think you are prepared well?
LOTZ: To die?
KING: For that -- not for yourself -- for that day when Billy and your mom won't be here?
LOTZ: You know, can you ever prepare for that?
KING: Can you prepare? I mean, are you better prepared because of your belief, do you think?
LOTZ: I think so, because it's like that verse I quoted you from Psalm 27, that when your mother or father foresake you, or when they die and leave, then the Lord will take you up. And I know the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. And he's going to be with me. He's not going to foresake me.
KING: And you firmly believe that?
LOTZ: Oh, I know that.
KING: So that's going to make it easier?
LOTZ: Yes, it makes it easier, but nothing can make losing your parents easy, not when they're parents like mine. They are -- my mother and father are two of the most precious people in the world to me. And they've meant so much to me. To this day, they're like soulmates. You know, it's not just that we're friends, but we share the same spirit, you know?
KING: Dr. Weil, the current thinking is to talk about it, right? Bring families together and talk about that day, while everybody is living?
WEIL: Absolutely, yes. You know, when I was in medical school -- this was still at a time we didn't tell cancer patients that they had cancer... KING: Yes.
WEIL: And the damage done by that was terrible, because there could be really no honest discussion of death and the imminence of death between patients and families. It left patients extremely isolated. So I think the trend in our society toward being able to talk about it and encouraging talking about it is beneficial.
KING: And your father, one thing about him, he always modernized, didn't he? I mean, as much as he had his beliefs, he accepted life's changes well.
KING: Better than most do.
LOTZ: I think so.
KING: He was never rigid in that regard, right?
LOTZ: I think that's true, mother and daddy both. In fact, he just said this last weekend that he's accepting the fact that he's older, he can't do certain things. And just -- and now the transition in his ministry to Franklin, and he's accepting that.
KING: Do you think, Doctor, we die as we live?
WEIL: I think there is truth to that, and I also think that probably all of our life is in some way a preparation for dying.
KING: In that sense that we all know it's coming?
WEIL: Right, and that the way we live and the way we come to terms with dying, it's all a process that we're engaged in all the time.
KING: Do you help -- that's the toughest thing for people of faith, right? Consoling the bereaved?
LOTZ: Oh, I think that it's very difficult because...
KING: I don't understand how do you it.
LOTZ: Yes, except when the person who has died has placed their faith in Jesus, then death is just faith becoming sight. It's just a stepping over into the presence of God. So actually, it can be a celebration.
KING: So then the missing, the sadness is selfish in a sense. I will miss you but you're in a good place.
LOTZ: That's right. Yes, that's right. Yes, that's right. Yes, and death can almost be a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
KING: Are more young medical students interested in geriatrics, Dr. Weil?
WEIL: I think so. I hope so. Certainly more of them are interested death and dying and in hospice work. And I think that's been a very good change. And I look forward to a flowering of the field of geriatrics. I think the research going on in gerontology is going to be a great stimulus to the development of geriatric medicine.
KING: Because it is, is it not, a frustrating specialty? You're dealing with people who are forgetful...
WEIL: I think it is frustrating.
KING: ... lots of pains, you're seeing them at the end of their lives.
KING: True, true, and I have to say as an integrative doctor, one of the things that bothers me is that when I go into the homes of older people and look in medicine cabinets, I'm disturbed by the number of prescription drugs that are there -- a lot. And that's...
KING: Do you think they're overly prescribed often?
WEIL: I think they're overly prescribed. I think often these are prescribed by different people, that no one may be monitoring the possible interactions. Some of these may not be necessary. I think there's too much of that.
KING: And doctors just -- all -- some of them do it to get you out in 15 minutes, right?
WEIL: Definitely, and you also know we're going to see an enormous population of old people as the baby boomers reach their senior years. So we're going to see a lot of geriatric problems.
KING: You will see your parents this weekend? Are you going to that?
LOTZ: No, actually, I have to go to Miami for something else. So I'll miss my sister's graduation, and I'm so sorry.
KING: Your daughter's, right? You said your sister.
LOTZ: No, this is my sister. This is my sister, actually. So she's just two and a half years younger than me, but all of us got married very young so we didn't ever go to college. This will be my father's only daughter to graduate from college. And I...
LOTZ: So my sister has worked so hard, we're so proud of her. And she graduates -- I think I said Saturday, but it's Sunday that she graduates.
KING: From Baldwin Wallace, right?
LOTZ: From Mary Baldwin in Staunton, Virginia. KING: Mary Baldwin -- pretty good school.
LOTZ: Yes, right.
KING: Thank you so much.
LOTZ: God bless you, Larry.
KING: Great meeting you.
LOTZ: Thank you.
KING: And Dr. Weil, as always, thanks very much.
WEIL: My pleasure.
KING: Dr. Andrew Weil, his book is "Eating Well for Optimum Health." That's his latest. And Anne Graham Lotz's latest is "Just Give Me Jesus." And our best wishes to the Grahams for longer life.
CNN NEWSSTAND is next. Don Johnson tomorrow.
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