Since I began on my own personal Alzheimer’s journey in the end of December 2018 at 57 years old, I had no idea what to expect. I was showing some signs that things weren’t quite right so I went to my neurologist and got a diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. I decided to go public about my diagnosis and get active in the Alzheimer’s community to see if I could help find a cure for myself as well as others.
I started attending Alzheimer’s Support Group meetings, volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association and started my blog. As a result I began meeting more people with Alzheimer’s, sadly many of them under 65 years old with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. In the top photo above, I am on the left with my friend Deb, who is 54 and has a rare form of Alzhiemer’s called Cortical Atrophy Basal Degeneration. Jenna, the young gal on the bottom was diagnosed at 33 (she is now 34) with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Both of them are declining and are no longer able to drive or work. Fortunately for me, I can still drive (although I can’t find my car for the life of me), and am still able to do almost everything, having more good days than bad days. All three of us are doing are best to stay active, exercise and eat very healthy.
The public perception of Alzheimer’s patients are of people who are elderly and nearing the end of their life. The United State Postal Service has an Alzheimer’s stamp that depicts a geriatric patient on it. As a result of my activisim in the Alzheimer’s community, I have met many people under 65 who are young, full of energy and drive who are fighting this disease with every fiber of their being. If we don’t find a cure the number of people with Alzheimer’s/dementia is forecasted to skyrocket and is forcasted to triple by 2050 (see diagram below).
It amazes me that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States but is the ONLY disease in the top 10 causes of death where there is NO potential cure on the horizon. The number of people who will have it by 2050 is expected to grow exponentially. The United States Government in the last year has passed legislation and approved funding to help improve support received by Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers but we need to do more.
We need to find a cure…….Deb, Jenna and I would love to find a cure in our lifetime while we still have some quality of life. We need to find a cure so future generations…..your kids, and your grandchildren don’t have to worry about this disease. Please help us find a cure. Donate now to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Not today, Alzheimer’s, not today!