Hello my name is Rachelle, I'd like to share my story and feelings about Alzheimer's. I was a newby to the disease, until 3 years ago my world was rocked! My fairly young father, Jim was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 65 years old. Alzheimer’s is much more difficult and devastating then you could ever imagine. I have one phrase that sums up my feelings with Alzheimer’s: “It’s not about the sacrifice of what we’ve given up; it is about the loss of what’s taken from us.” My Dad was a one-of-a-kind, hardworking, attentive, handsome, thoughtful, true-to-himself, Jack of all trades Master of none, HA! I admired everything about him. Alzheimer’s is not just about having a poor memory. It’s also making inappropriate remarks or walking away from someone talking because you are not aware others are talking to you. It’s no longer having any idea how to fix a generator, so you just continue to push the ON button over and over and over again. It’s believing you no longer need to shower, because you think you just had one. It’s about no longer driving, because “I saw that pole, but I just drove into it any way. It’s about child-speak with words such as walky, ding-ding, mommy and pee-pee, if your fortunate to still have words. It’s the hours and hours of silence that occur because conversation is for the most part, completely one sided. It’s about giving up all your plans for the future, not until a better or more convenient time comes around, but forever. Alzheimer’s does not play favorites. It can come after you, any gender, race, or age and it will ALWAYS win. You may be able to slow it down, but you will never beat it. Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease. There is no cure, YET We talk about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, but we need to talk much more about Alzheimer’s and not just casually. We need to talk about and demand money for research. We need to talk about the need for facilities that offer quality living and activities for those who can no longer be cared for at home. We need to talk about the need for respite for our caregivers. We need to make the medical profession more aware of informing families of the support groups and services available. Alzheimer’s is not just an “old person’s disease.” The suffering it causes is not just visited on the patient, it affects the caregiver, the family, the workplace, and the neighborhood. The pain I experienced was from watching each and every day what Alzheimer’s stole away from me, from my Dad, from my family, from our friends. It takes it away, without notice, with no outline or sequence, with no pattern and with no known speed. Help couldn't make it in time to rescue my Dad, but God willing, I pray it will come in time to keep my children and grandchildren from ever experiencing the same. I said goodbye to some part of my Dad every single day, and he bravely walked with Alzheimer’s every single day. He was my hero! Alzheimer’s isn’t stopping and neither are we. I’m raising funds and awareness to advance the fight against this disease. Families facing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia need us now more than ever — and with your help, we can be there for them. Please make a donation or register as a participant and start your own fundraising. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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