If someone were to have told me nine years ago back in 2005 what my husband Gary and I would go through by the year 2014, I would never have believed them. Never in a million years. He was my hero and he still is, however today he is a different kind of hero for me. Gary was diagnosed with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)/ Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 63 in December of 2012 by a neurologist. The diagnosis came almost as a strange relief in being able to label what had been happening to our marriage and our financial stability over the last several years. I have to tell you that Gary has taken this diagnosis with the utmost grace and dignity, but the journey leading to his diagnosis was filled with sadness, grief, struggle, anger and isolation; nearly destroying our marriage, our self confidence and everything that we had worked so hard to achieve together.
Now that we know what it is we are dealing with, Gary and I have decided to take action and turn this chapter of our lives into something that can make a difference. We have created AlzAcrossAmerica to write and speak about our journey to help raise awareness for Early Memory Loss/ Alzheimer’s disease because we know that we are not alone. It wasn’t until Gary was finally diagnosed that we were able to reach out for help and join a support group through our local Alzheimer’s Association. I cannot say enough about the lifeline that the Alzheimer’s Association has been for us and we encourage everyone to reach out and to access all and any tools and resources available to make the quality of your life healthier and more livable. We know that NO ONE gets it or understands what you are going through unless they are living it too. AlzAcrossAmerica is about helping to bridge the gap and connect with others who can relate to what you are experiencing. It’s about the building of a conscious community that needs to grow in unity as those affected are able to grasp what is happening, access tools and resources and no longer be embarrassed, ashamed or isolated. Did you know that every 64 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? I feel like a Paul Revere of modern times because a staggering number of our generation, the Baby Boomers, will be either the one with Memory Loss or will be a care partner for a loved one. Like it or not, the odds are not in our favor. Gary and my old goals and dreams may be shattered, but our new vision is to start locally in the south bay of Los Angeles so that we can reach out to those affected and to help create awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease, particularly Early Memory Loss and make it okay for those affected to come out of the shadows and reclaim their lives while they still can. This community needs to grow so that talking about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can be discussed in the open. We invite you to join us.
In service with hope, peace,and goodness,