My Dad did a lot of storytelling in his day. Dad ran one of the gas stations in town, and was always dealing with the customers, inviting them back to the office for a cup of coffee. He always had a joke to share or a story to tell.
Then came Alzheimer's. As the disease progressed, he got to the point that he would tell the same story over and over again. It was like the part of his memory that wanted to tell the story was fine, but the part that would have remembered that he did tell the story just didn't kick in. It was normal for Dad to tell the same story five times in a ten minute period.
Then Dad stopped telling stories. Then he stopped talking, or recognizing us when we visited. And I would have given almost anything to hear one of those stories again.
"You lose them before you lose them"; that's what I've said about Alzheimer's. It's a slow dying, where we see less and less of our loved ones, eagerly, sometimes desperately, looking for that glimmer of connection, of recognition.
I'm participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's® so someday no one will have to "lose them before you lose them". Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 14 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.
Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer's!
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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