My father, Billy Hyden, had Alzheimer’s disease and we lost him nine years ago at the age of 63. My father was the third generation in our family to get this disease. I want to do everything in my power to make sure this disease stops with my generation and at the very least my children’s generation.
As you can imagine the entire family is affected when a loved one is diagnosed. The day Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s was the saddest and most heart-wrenching day of my life. I knew what Dad’s diagnosis meant, a slow decline and certain death. I knew there was absolutely no hope for him with the medicines currently available. Regardless of this news, we tried everything we could. I enrolled Dad in an Alzheimer’s vaccine clinical trial at The UT Southwestern Alzheimer’sDisease Center where we had access to some of the best doctors and researchers in the country. With the help of the Alzheimer’s Association we joined a support group and I attended caregiver education seminars. We lost my Mom to a long battle with Leukemia 6 months after my Dad’s diagnosis, so my brother and I became Dad’s caregivers. Caring for Dad was full of sad moments and difficult decisions. Taking Dad’s car keys away, seeing him lose the ability to play golf, watching him struggle to take a shower and get dressed, moving him into an Alzheimer’s Care Center where he was the youngest resident, watching him pace the halls of the facility 24 hours a day, seeing him forget how to walk, and finally making tough decisions toward the end of his life are just a few of the moments that will stick with me forever.
Millions of Americans are having this same horrible experience with Alzheimer’s disease. It is my personal mission to make sure that we find a treatment or cure. Your support of this worthwhile cause is so appreciated.
In February of 2015 I started The Oasis- AnEarly/Mid Stage Alzheimer's Group. Every Thursday we have 30 people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and 30 volunteers meet for a 4 hour period of fun, exercise, food and fellowship. I can't begin to tell you the impact this group has had on my life. Being with this group has given me even more motivation to fight for these families and their loved ones.
I walk this year not only in memory of my Dad, but also in honor of those families currently suffering with this disease.
I am so thankful for the Alzheimer's Association. They provide crucial support to families currently dealing with this disease. They are the world’s leading voluntary health organization inAlzheimer's care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Any form of support is appreciated. I would love to have you at the walk, but completely understand that we all have busy schedules. Your donations to this worthy cause are welcome even if you cannot attend.
I know many of you have experienced this disease in your family and some have experienced this disease first hand. Let’s do something about it!! I want to see a world without Alzheimer’s disease!
Bronwen Hyden Zilmer
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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