Mitzi was diagnosed with Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s in her mid 50s, but showed signs and symptoms back in her late 40s. It took a long time for doctors to diagnose the disease in her because she was so young. When Mitzi could no longer drive, her friend Ansley offered to help get her out of the house once a week. The two of them would have had very little in common had they met in another part of their lives, but on the familiar road of Alzheimer’s, they could not be more compatible. Ansley was a caregiver to her grandmother, "Nina," for many years as she lived with Alzheimer's. As Mitzi fought daily against a heartless, relentless disease that continually closed and locked the windows and doors of her mind, Ansley was her sidekick. Along with Mitzi's husband, Gary, as well as close family and friends, they learned to finish Mitzi's sentences and read her wants when words became her enemy. Those who knew her have been blessed beyond measure by Mitzi and by watching her walk out her faith in every kind of uncertainty imaginable. Her strength, attitude, and character still inspire us all daily. Mitzi was finally freed from the clutches of Alzheimer's on September 23, 2019, 3 weeks shy of her 59th birthday.
Mitzi’s greatest hope was that some kind of redemption could come from her life’s most heartbreaking final chapter. She and her husband gave Ansley their blessing and permission to help be her voice and share her story with the world. Her desire was always that, even now, she can be an inspiration and bring encouragement to others who are walking this one way maze of the mind. Most importantly, the hope is for her journey with this disease to bring awareness in the fight to find a cure.
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