He has fought a long battle against lymphatic cancer which he contracted in 1999 and it is believed that the cancer treatment has accelerated his mental decline.
“Dementia runs in our family and he’s now suffering the ravages prematurely due to the cancer that put him almost on the verge of death,” said Jaime. “Chemotherapy saved his life, but it also destroyed many neurons, many defences and cells, and accelerated the process. But he still has the humour, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had.”
Jaime said that he tried to keep his brother’s condition a secret, “because it’s his life and he’s always tried to protect it”. However, he was moved to speak openly because of the inaccurate speculation he encountered.
Jan Berenstain, who with her husband Stan created the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88.
Mike Berenstain says his mother suffered a severe stroke on Thursday and died Friday without regaining consciousness. She was a longtime resident of Solebury in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Berestains’ gentle stories of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear address childhood subjects like coping with new siblings, summer camp and peer pressure.
Stan and Jan Berenstain, both Philadelphia natives, were 18 when they met on their first day at art school in 1941. Stan Berenstain died in 2005.
The first Berenstain Bears book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962. More than 300 titles have been released in 23 languages.