Five years ago, I sat next to my father as he was diagnosed with dementia. After the neurologist gave us this daunting diagnosis, he advised my dad to “get his house in order”. He told my dad that within a year, he would not be able to work; he would not be able to drive; he would not be able to manage his finances. For a man that had owned his own business for nearly 40 years, this was devastating news. My dad asked the doctor what he could do to stop this from happening. The answer was “nothing”. There was no cure, no surgery and the medicine available was largely ineffective. There was no question in the doctor’s mind that within a year, my dad would not be fit to run his business, his memory would continue to decline, and his ability to live independently would end. The doctor was right.
For his entire life, my dad has been a man that has beaten the odds, overcome adversity, relished a challenge and has NEVER taken no for an answer. With the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, he has had to take no for an answer – for now. I am dancing to raise money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and I am dancing for my father. I am dancing so that one day, when your mom, husband or friend is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there will be more effective medicine available, or even a cure, and they will not have to take NO for an answer.
About Tara Byrne Garner
Tara worked in the Atlanta real estate market as a sales agent and marketing consultant for 10 years. When her father was diagnosed, she shifted her focus to the family business – real estate and development in Big Canoe. She and her two sister’s share in caring for their father so he can stay in his home for as long as possible.
Tara grew up on Hilton Head Island before moving to Atlanta with her family. She graduated from St. Pius X in Atlanta and received her bachelor’s degree from College of Charleston. Along with the Alzheimer’s Association she has been a supporter, volunteer and fundraiser for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Ballet. Tara and her husband, Brad, live in Buckhead with her two step sons – both students at Holy Innocents Episcopal School. In her free time, she enjoys tennis with her ALTA team, traveling, and most recently and importantly DANCING!
Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into prevention, treatments and a cure for Alzheimer's. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Thank you for joining our movement! The end of Alzheimer's disease starts here.
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