As many of you know, in 2012, Michael was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We have made great progress since Michael’s diagnosis and have a “new normal” lifestyle by implementing new programs and processes that help us succeed in our day-to-day lives. Michael enjoys exercise, tennis, paddle, golf, music wellness, and socializing with friends as well as Oliver and Baxter, our two emotional support animals.
In February 2017, Michael’s clinical trial was terminated because Merck didn’t achieve the overall results in order to receive FDA funding. This was a blow to us, but we regrouped! The Merck trial is no longer producing the drug, MK-8931, which was working for Michael. These clinical trials are essential to help the drug companies reach breakthroughs and develop medications to help slow the progression of or find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
No matter what changes occur we never give up hope and we always make sure we find ways to preserve and enjoy our time together. So far, our travel this year has been limited mostly the Chicago area where we’re surrounded by family and friends. Also, we’re blessed to enjoy our wonderful children. This summer, we traveled to Brick, NJ, to visit Michael’s family—his sister, Toni Lee, her husband, Freddy and his mom, now 95 and going strong. Also, we spent time with Tara, Michael’s youngest daughter, who spent time working in a NJ Shore theatre; we even had the opportunity to see her perform! Happily, she plans to visit Chicago in November. Plus, his daughter, Laura, her husband Ben and their adorable three-year-old son, Jack, visited. We had an amazing time! Jack, who is getting bigger and faster by the minute, loved swimming with “Papa Mike” and visiting the Chicago Botanic Gardens. My son, Jared who just graduated from Indiana University, starts his new job after Labor Day in logistics and Sammie, my youngest, is doing awesome and happy to be starting her sophomore year at Michigan State where she is living in her sorority (AXO) house. We really are blessed with wonderful children.
Michael just turned 61 and continues to smile every day and show off those baby blue eyes. On Friday, September 8th, we’re planning to celebrate with family and friends our fifth wedding anniversary at Norton’s, our special place, and Go Purple in honor of Alzheimer’s. We’re using that day to fundraise for Alzheimer’s. Please join us if you’re free from 5-9 pm at Norton’s, in Highland Park, and wear purple in honor of Alzheimer’s.
We continue to build our platform as advocates for Alzheimer’s, especially with the publication of our book, The 24-Hour Rule: Living with Alzheimer’s is out and available on Amazon.
Since my retirement two years ago last June, we’ve focused on becoming more actively involved with the Alzheimer’s organization and continue to build awareness in order to fight this devastating disease. For the second year in a row, I am a Co-Chair for the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Campaigning about Alzheimer’s and the impact it can have not only on the individual suffering but also on the family living with the illness is extremely important. I continue to believe “knowledge is power” and, in the case of Alzheimer’s, it can also bring understanding and peace.
As of 2016, the number of Americans living with the Alzheimer’s disease is growing and growing fast! Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Today, six million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Only two-thirds (3.2 million) are women. And within the next 10 years, 19 states across the country will see a 40 percent or greater growth in the number of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, and frighteningly so, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds. In 2050, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds. Those are astounding statistics.
Michael and I are asking for your support by participating in the 2017-Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can become an unstoppable force against this devastating disease. Please help by either joining our Team Levin Folio on Saturday, September 16, 2017, Gallery Park, Patriot Boulevard and Navy Boulevard @ 8:30 am in Glenview, IL. Please join us and participate with Michael and me in our walk against Alzheimer’s. This will be our fifth annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” and we will continue to make this a memorable event. Your support of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s will help the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance the Alzheimer’s care and support and advance critical research for all those affected by this horrible illness. Help us reach our $25,000 goal by making a donation to our fundraising page.
Together, we can make a difference! Please go to WWW.ALZ.ORG, select the tab Walks and visit Team Levin Folio; and/or register for the walk with us and/or donate today!
Thank you for being part of our life, sharing both the good and bad times. Michael and I are beating this illness and will continue to live a wonderful and long, happy life together filled with incredible memories shared with family and friends!
All the best,
Cheryl and Michael
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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