I have been a hairstylist in Atlanta for 36 years, but my career actually began when I was a child watching my mother do hair in our kitchen. She taught me so much about hair, but most importantly she taught me the value of love, kindness, and respect towards people. Everyone from my celebrity clients, to my "little older" ladies leave my salon happy and respected equally. In March of 2022, I lost my beloved mother to Alzhiemers. Throughout this journey, people ask me what it is like to have this disease. While every loved one is unique, our family witnessed a spectrum of everything between forgetting how to walk, eat, bathe, experiencing hallucinations, hitting, or crying and laughing uncontrollably. Alzhiemers patients sometimes ``choose" someone to be aggressive towards. We moved my mother into my sister Laura's carriage house as she needed round-the-clock care. My mother and sister had always been close, but during the later stages of this disease, mother was very belligerent towards Laura, and was not that way to anyone else. It was hard to watch my once gentle southern religious mother turn into someone else. My family and I felt so helpless, the only word to describe it is devastating. During the 10 months post diagnosis, the one blessing was that she never forgot who her loved ones were. I made a promise to mother and my family for me to use my voice and stand in solidarity with other families living with this disease. I am so thankful for my mother and all she taught me. Please join me by honoring her wishes to find a cure for Alzhiemers.
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