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Everything I do is to fight for a world without Alzheimer’s

Many people are impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia; my story is not much different. I have seen many aspects of this disease. Like cancer, every individual’s case is different and unique. I am honored to be part of an organization where proceeds go towards research to find a cure for a disease that takes so much. It takes moments from people that we love and the memories from the ones they love most.

My grandfather, Peter, was diagnosed six years ago with Alzheimer’s. Whenever I ask him how’s he doing, I get the same response “Am I still here.” He always had the best sense of humor, an arsenal of jokes, and one-liners. He is also my inspiration for playing the bagpipes. While his health has declined steadily, it has become highly noticeable lately that his dementia is prevalent. He is starting to forget everyone he once knew, and I am terrified for the day he won’t remember me.

My brother’s grandmother, Arleen, was never formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but had all the signs and symptoms. She was once one of the most incredible people who could light any room. Now, she can no longer recall who people are and can barely speak.

My husband’s grandmother, Patricia, was diagnosed with vascular dementia last year. She recently moved in with us last year, and we are now her full-time caregivers. She used to be on top of everything and was highly organized. Now, she is confused, repeats herself often, and gets extremely frustrated with others. We have our good and bad days, but we take each day at a time.

To watch these three-amazing people turn into a shell of their former selves is the worst thing imaginable, and I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone. The fight to defeat Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia is an uphill battle that I am ready to take on. I want to inspire others that there is hope and that you are not alone. It feels like, at times, you are, but thanks to this, the Alzheimer’s Association support brings comfort. I haven’t utilized all the services, such as the hotline, enough, but knowing it is there means the world.

I joined the committee and the walk to give my support in many ways. Raising funds is one way, but giving a voice to those that have lost theirs is just as important. Many loved ones are lost in the fog, and I want to be their voice. Ensure they get the care and support they need during their time of need. It includes the caregivers and family members that sacrifice their time to help their loved ones. Caregivers are on the front line and need the most support.

I am walking to end Alzheimer’s. The walk is an incredible event where you feel positive energy, and everyone is there to support each other. We are all in the fight together to find a cure. There is such powerful healing and hope behind the walk event.

Everything I do is to fight for a world without Alzheimer’s and dementia. My mission is for future generations to only know stories and be spared the pain of watching their loved ones slowly fade away.

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Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter

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Lisle, IL 60532

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