I first felt the impact of Alzheimer's disease on my family as a child, when my grandfather talked to me about grasshopper races the last time I saw him alive. Since then, Alzheimer's has taken him, his brother and his son. It now affects his daughter - my mother - and me, as her only child and primary caregiver.
My father died with vascular dementia, and his sister and mother are in separate nursing facilities. Neither has known who I am for years now. While I was adopted, my cousins have raised concerns that they may be next to be confronted with a dementia diagnosis.
I first became involved with the Alzheimer's Association as a Walk participant in Colorado, then as a Walk Planning Committee member after our move to the Kansas City area. When an opportunity to manage Walks became available, I couldn't wait to fight dementia every day. I don't want families to face this disease without support. The emotional, physical and economic toll is too great to bear alone. And there are precious moments to be savored along the way.
I work alongside some of the most caring and creative professionals I know. We can always use more help. I hope you'll join us.