In 2012, my mother was given the diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer's. The news was crippling to her, suddenly asking herself "if all I have to look forward to is not knowing my children then why do I want to go on?" My father was always well cared for by my mother, he now ventured into a phase of his life in which he had to try to be a caregiver. The next several years were painful and difficult for the entire family. We had many conversations about Mom's care, Dad's struggles, and trying not to fall apart emotionally as we watched our mother drift farther from reality and our father start to crumble before our eyes.
Bette J. Pike was a military wife, during the days of Vietnam she commonly had to act as both mother and father. She was the strongest and most independent women I have ever known. Through the 60's, 70's, and 80's; she managed to raise 4 children, keep us well fed and clothed, work, deal with Narcolepsy before it was understood in the medical field, cope with financial stress constantly, and move her household every year or two.
My parents did not take time for any hobbies or time off pleasures. Their kids were their hobby. Their children were at the front of every decision and every worry, taking very little interest in or future planning for themselves.
My parents were early into a retirement phase of life that they had worked hard for when they suddenly had to let go of any retirement dreams they may have had and learn a new way of life.
With your help, we are making strides to ensure that future generations will not have to suffer this heartless disease. I'm leading the way to Alzheimer's first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®. 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.
Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
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