I first learned of the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease when I was very young. My best friend's grandmother, nicknamed Tita, would come to live with their family in the summer. This was in the early ‘90s, before any of us understood Alzheimer's. Nobody knew that Tita was sick or why she acted strange and had mood swings.
Tita lived with my friend’s family every summer until she passed away. I saw the sad progression of the disease and the hard work, resources and patience it took for them to care for her. It was frustrating for them because they had so little information about Alzheimer’s. That childhood experience prepared me for my family's battle with Alzheimer's and dementia.
My Nana died this year after living with dementia for over 10 years, and my Grammie Jean was moved to an Alzheimer care facility. My husband's grandmother was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's as well. As this terrible disease affects more and more people around me, I feel the need to spread the word and raise money for research and care. This year will be my second Memory Walk with my best friend and her sister in honor of our grandmas. Thank you, Alzheimer's Association, for all the work you do!