The Gray family is now entering our 7th year of Julie's Journey with Alzheimers. This past year has been the most challenging. Due to my health issues we had to place Julie in a Memory Care Center. In all instances her safety and health care are of first priority and while it was the hardest decision of my life I know in the end that I did the right thing for the right reasons. Julie no longer has language skills with words coming out randomly and without meaning. But she is still able to laugh and smile and that always warms my heart. There are days when it takes her awhile to know who I am and there are days where she doesn't know me, Everyday is a new adventure and you never know what you will find when they unlock the door to let you in. I visit everyday and most days I take her out to the park or for coffee/juice and once I explain to people why she is so happy and social without making sense they are overwhelmingly supportive. Every caregiver and family member are people who have had something taken from us with Alzheimers. Your donation will not only give hope for a cure but also comfort and support to those who have been affected by this disease. I spoke to a High School nursing class that will be volunteering at the Center this year...beginning their journey of becoming health care workers. I told them that when they unlock the door that first day they will enter a world that is more than intimidating. They will at first see 50-60 older adults living in various stages of Alzheimers and they will be shocked...but then take the time to look into their eyes and touch their hands. Then they will understand that all these people have had amazing lives and stories where they have loved and lost, had dreams and hopes, made a thousand meals, washed thousand of clothes, cried when you were down and celebrated your victories. Now on the outside that is gone but it lives deep within them and your job is to touch that memory and let them feel that their life still has meaning and value. Thank you
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