It's hard to meet anyone 50 yrs or older who has not known our father in one way or another. From teaching/coaching at EMC (now MSU-B) thru to his years as the principal at Absarokee High School, Dad was above all memorable. In the words of a man I just met, "Mike Mullowney was a straight shooter."
He's still that - though now he is reduced by vascular dementia to a man who struggles to understand where he is...and why.
Our Dad - cowboy, entrepreneur, rascal, sheriff, educator, history buff, feeder of turkeys, squirrels (and mice!), proud father/grandfather/great grandfather, and sometimes antagonist.
This disease is stealing from Dad the very essence of who he is - a fiercely independent man. It is stealing from Dad his lifelong dream of living in a “cabin by the creek”. To provide for him the 24/7 care he now requires, we're having to sell his Absarokee home. This disease takes so much...too much.
He is my husband, my hero, my love and my best friend. By the grace of God and with steely determination, he overcame renal failure. He helped raise two incredible young adults, dedicated 30 years to his career...and now is facing the greatest challenge yet - Frontotemporal Dementia/Primary Progressive Aphasia. http://www.alz.org/dementia/fronto-temporal-dementia-ftd-symptoms.as.
It took three years and multiple specialty appointments and tests to get to this 'differential' diagnosis. This disease affects speaking, reading, writing and comprehension. It normally comes on in midlife before the age of 65. It invariably worsens over time, differing person to person.
This looks to be a long road - but it is not one that Nardo, Jessica, Jeremy and I travel alone. We are blessed by our wonderful families and countless friends. And we have faith in the Lord to strengthen us daily for what lies ahead.
Nardo hopes that by speaking out, he is being a Champion for millions who cannot (or will not.) Our plan is to be educated, raise our voices, stay active and LIVE LIFE.
We ask you to support the work of the Alzheimer's Association - not for Nardo and not for us - but for the growing number of people affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias (5 million + in the US and the 15 million family members and friends who provide their care.) These are our friends, our loved ones, our neighbors and colleagues.
The end of Alzheimer's and other dementias starts with you. Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. Thank you
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