My husband Ralph is living with Young Onset Alzheimer's. It is progressive and there is no cure.
I've recently discussed with many people our diagnosis, but for me to put it on paper and see it in black and white somehow makes it more real. That in turn makes this much more difficult to write about, but I believe it's important to share our story because our story is the story of too many Alzheimer's families.
Many of you have known and loved Ralph as the strong, smart, very independent man I married 49 years ago. Husband, dad, Bampy, friend, mentor, pilot, fishing boat Captain are just some of the many roles he's played in all our lives through the years. Ralph was always there for anyone who needed a hand or a friend. Now he needs us. Over the last 3 1/2 years some of those roles have changed or disappeared, but the inner Ralph we all know and love is still very much with us. Daily living is more of a struggle for both of us these days but we are fortunate to have each other and so much support from our family and friends. We try to remain in the present and take each day as it comes. We've shed many tears but the laughter comes freely as well. We acknowledge the pain of our losses and appreciate the "good" minutes, hours and days we have. We will keep these memories forever.
On November 6 we are walking as a team, "Ralph's Anchors", to raise funds for Alzheimer's research and support so that someday other families won't have to go through this. Any donation, prayers, or words of encouragement would be appreciated. It is very uplifting for Ralph when he hears how many people have donated, signed up to walk or sent words of encouragement.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised
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