Sep 052014
 
The Journey Begins, An Excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Brooks Adams We had known for a little more than a month before we decided to let others in on the burden our family had been carrying. On the last day of school before Thanksgiving break, my husband, at age forty-six, stood before his beloved high school students and told them our horrific secret. We taught at the same high school, so I [...]

Aug 152014
 
Beauty and the Bread

When my mother Naomi was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010 at the age of 70, my father, Jack, actually started cooking for the first time in his life. Through the painful realization that we were losing our beloved mom and wife, we found humor in the situation. My father had actually entered the kitchen! This post is an excerpt from The Lost Kitchen: An Alzheimer’s Memoir and Cookbook, which chronicles the story of how my [...]

Jun 302014
 
Remembering the Best Part, An Excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. ~Author Unknown I stopped at the desk to sign in and explained to the receptionist I was a reporter from the local newspaper and was doing a story on a gentleman who lived there, a World War II veteran. As I made my way down the corridor to Mr. Walter’s room, [...]

Jun 212014
 
Twirling to End Alzheimer's

On The Longest Day, I will be fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association doing something I love, baton twirling. I have worked hard to get the word out by making announcements at schools, handing out flyers and posting advertisements in my local newspaper, encouraging boys and girls age 6 and older to participate. Alzheimer’s disease is a rapidly-growing epidemic, and I think that kids need to understand what Alzheimer’s really is. Nearly 11 years ago, my [...]

Jun 212014
 
Advocating for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s — One Letterbox at a Time

My family and I have set out for a great day of scavenger hunting, in the form of letterboxing, as our way of participating in The Longest Day, a summer solstice event where people around the world do activities  they love as a way to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. I was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s and chorea, a movement disorder, around the age of 40. I also have two siblings and parents [...]

Jun 202014
 
The Bridge Ladies Challenge the Motorcycle Club to Ride for a Good Cause

Today, just after the sunrise, a group of motorcycle riders met at a truck stop in West Monroe, La., to ride our Harley Davidson bikes down to New Roads, La., a historic district just outside of Baton Rouge, about three and a half hours away. Across the bridge in Monroe, a group of ladies gathered to play bridge from morning to night. You might be wondering what these two seemingly unrelated events have to do with [...]

Jun 202014
 
Making Korean Lucky Pouches in Honor of My Grandmother

Today, my three siblings, several friends and I are packed inside my small apartment in New York to make Korean lucky pouches, called “jumoni,” from sunrise to sunset as our way of participating in The Longest Day, an event to honor those facing Alzheimer’s. These small, colorful pouches made out of cloth and drawn closed at the top with a braided string were traditionally filled with money or special treats and given to small children [...]

Jun 202014
 
16 Hours of Playing Video Games to Mark The Longest Day

Playing video games for 16 hours is normal for a teenager on summer vacation, but if a bunch of adults were doing it, they would be said to be wasting their day. Not when those adults are defending castles from dragons or hunting zombies to participate in The Longest Day. For 16 hours today, a group of gamers — my fellow coworkers at Geektriumvirate.com, my girlfriend and I — are playing video games to honor those [...]

Jun 202014
 
Today I Trek the Appalachian Trail to Fight Alzheimer’s

Today, I began the second half of my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail as part of The Longest Day, an event to fight Alzheimer’s. A thru-hike is a long-distance journey from trail beginning to end. I am dedicating this hike to my mother, Debbie, who at the age of 52, was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. My mother is the most caring, loving, kind-hearted, independent woman who has ever graced this earth. From the moment I [...]

Jun 182014
 
Facing Alzheimer's With My Mother's Strength: Patti's Story

My mom has Alzheimer’s.  And it’s not easy. Patience is not a trait that runs in our family, and Alzheimer’s tries to take away your control. But I have learned that by educating myself about the disease and reaching out to others going through similar situations, my sisters and I can stay strong. I was born when my mom was 37 and my dad was 41.  They had already “finished” their family – my sisters [...]

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