I attended my first Memory Ball as the guest of a friend/colleague in the Spring of 2022. I had never attended a Memory Ball for no reason other than I tend to avoid most social gatherings, especially formal affairs. At some point during the dance performances, I thought to myself, “with enough practice, I could do this!” As it turns out, other people seated at my table expressed the same thought,and so here I am dancing in the 2023 Memory Ball.
To tell you a little about myself, I was born and raised in Baltimore, where I attended Mercy High School and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. I went on to attend the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, followed by a Psychiatry residency at Tulane University, and fellowship training in bothGeriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. I now practice as a Geriatric Neuropsychiatrist whose area of expertise is dementia, particularly of the Alzheimer’s type, and management of the associated behavioral disturbances. Dementia care has been my passion and I feel called to teach and advocate to make others more informed about dementia. I recently returned to Hopkins as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry where I enjoy teaching the medical students about dementia and training the residents and fellows to be able to provide the best care possible for these patients and their families.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a wonderful organization. They are the best place for reliable information on everything from memory loss to late stage dementia. I value all that they have to offer and refer my patients with various types of dementia to the Alzheimer’s Association for education and ongoing support. On a related note, my research efforts include MEMORI Corps - which is affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Association - and the Maximizing Independence at Home (MIND at Home) project. I also serve on the Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Council which helps to form policy surrounding the care for individuals with dementia and their families in Maryland. Dancing in the Memory Ball gives me the opportunity to talk about dementia with anyone and everyone willing to listen. These brief discussions are a way for me to advocate for my patients and their families, as well as the over 110,000 other Marylanders who are living with this devastating disease.
Not only am I dancing to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, I also am dancing for my own personal growth. Never have I ever taken dance lessons! I don’t even dance at weddings (other than under extreme duress). And did I mention my crippling social anxiety? So here I am, learning a new skill in middle age and preparing to perform it in public. Truly, I am practicing what I preach. The pandemic has been hard on all of us, and dancing has helped me to work on both my physical and mental health. I never thought in a million years that I would be doing this. People around me say, “you’ll be great!”, and I have to trust them on this. I hope you agree and will vote for me.
Please click on the green DONATE button at the top of this page to support the Alzheimer’s Association in their effort to spread awareness of this disease and help those affected by it. Each donation made will count as a vote for me in the Memory Ball dance competition. The other green button can be used to purchase tickets to this fabulous event or become a supporting sponsor. All donations are greatly appreciated. Be well.
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