At first it started with my dad forgetting dates and number sequences; then, it progressed to forgetting his pin number, getting lost coming home from work, and repeating stories from his past. He was forced into retirement at the age of 60, which he never could have imagined just years before. When we finally faced the fact that something was seriously wrong with my father, we went to his GP and were told, "it's probably just the stress from leaving his job." I wasn't buying it. I thought, "maybe a stroke, maybe a brain tumor..." but I never could have imagined he would be diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) at the age of 60.
It was a devastating diagnosis for our family and we all struggled with the fact that this was our new reality. At first he was able to cope with day-to-day life. He could still drive with my mom in the car and exercise on his own, and basically seemed like a normal 60 year old man. I look back on those days and can't believe I didn't cherish them more. Then the disease started to impact his speech, social behaviors and movement - all typical symptoms of this type of dementia, which does not primarily affect just your memory. My father knows me and recognizes me. He knows I have a 10 month old. But he can no longer express how he feels, order off a menu or even tell me when he needs to use the restroom. He has debilitating anxiety and becomes agitated easily. He no longer smiles. This disease has taken his happiness, dreams and freedom from him. It has taken a toll on our entire family emotionally and monetarily. My dad now lives in a memory care community where he is the youngest person by 20 years. This is the cruelest disease imaginable, one that strips your loved one of everything they had to look forward to in their golden years. And the worst part is that, as of now, there is nothing anyone can do about it.
BUT, I want that to change. Alzheimer’s isn’t stopping and neither am I. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I will honor my father and raise funds and awareness to advance the fight against this disease. Families, like mine, facing Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia need our friends and communities more than ever. With your help, we can make change and advancements in curing this disease. Please make a donation or register as a participant and start your own fundraising. With your help, we can end Alzheimer's disease and end the pain and emotional toll this disease takes on those affected by it.
Thank you for reading my story and thank you for all of your love and support.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised
Elite Grand Champion