Brothers Jeffrey and Ron Wyden in 1960. Ron Wyden says his brother began to withdraw as a teenager.

Brothers Jeffrey and Ron Wyden in 1960. Ron Wyden says his brother began to withdraw as a teenager.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

When U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden talks about gun control or mental health issues, he sometimes mentions his younger brother, Jeffrey.

That happened after the massacre of dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, last year. After the attack, Democratic senators filibustered for stricter gun control measures. Wyden joined the filibuster, and he got personal.

"My late brother suffered from serious mental illness," he said. "Not a day went by — not a day went by — when I wasn't worried that my brother, who was a schizophrenic, would be out on the streets, and he would either hurt himself, or he'd hurt somebody else."

Jeffrey Wyden struggled with his schizophrenia for decades. There were periods of hope and periods of despair. He died in 2002 at age 51.

His brother, now Oregon's senior senator, carries the memory of those years with him, and they inform his policy decisions. To hear their story, click on the audio player above.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR: