During one of my medical school lectures, I felt my heart sank as I realized that my mother was displaying many of the symptoms suggestive of dementia. After class that day, I came home and administered a “mini-cognitive test” to my mom. My mom: an educated, former emergency room nurse, failed with flying colors. She had symptoms that I had previously brushed off as being due to stress: missing payment on bills, forgetting her hair appointments, buying multiple copies of the same movie... Alzheimer’s Disease can be easy to miss early on, especially in people who develop the disease at a young age like my mom. The Alzheimer’s Association coordinates public awareness campaigns to teach our communities signs to look out for to help with earlier detection of the disease.
Since my mom's initial diagnosis, she has gradually became more dependent on her family to keep her safe. We had to "wander proof" my childhood home to make sure my mom would not leave unsupervised and get lost. We had to hid the garbage so that she would not dig through it. She no longer remembers to bathe or feed herself. She often has trouble making it to the bathroom on time. She gets agitated at times with the family who is only trying to take care of her. She often talks in "gibberish" to people who aren't there. She doesn't remember who her husband and children are.
Slowly losing my mom continues to be heartbreaking. However even more tragic is knowing that my daughter will never know her grandma like how I did.
The Alzheimer’s Association helps support patients and their loved ones. Resources such as their 24/7 help hotline can be lifesaving. And most importantly, they advocate for and promote research in hopes for a future without Alzheimer's Disease. Please consider donating to help those suffering now and to ultimately find a cure for the disease. And please join our team, ALwayZ Faith, named in honor of my mother, Jacqueline Faith, and my daughter, Eimear Faith. We hope to ALwayZ have Faith that there will be a future where my daughter and others do not need to worry about this thief of a disease.
On behalf of my mother, my family and myself: thank you for taking the time to read our story. I hope you consider joining the fight to #endalz.
To learn more about my family's fight with Alzheimer's Disease, check out the following links:
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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Elite Grand Champion
Walk Committee Member