Dec 152017
 
Accepting the New You During the Holidays – and Beyond

Every Christmas, it’s my family’s tradition to make homemade tamales! We make pork, chicken and raisin, usually 12 to 15 dozen. Christmas Eve dinner always includes these specialties, and then our extended family takes some home for Christmas morning. I love everything about this time of year, from our family get-togethers to knitting gifts and watching all of my favorite Christmas movies. Although we plan to continue these traditions together, I will be resting more […]

Oct 272017
 
Thankful

I met my husband Steven in an organic chemistry class in college. There were handouts coming down the aisle, and Steven, who was sitting to my left, received the last one for our row of seats. Before I could do anything, he quickly jumped over the rows to the front of classroom to grab a handout for me, a knight in shining armor! We have been together for 41 years. Today, Steven is my care […]

Jun 272017
 
Maintaining Independence in the Face of Disease

On more than one occasion, when I was a young boy, my grandmother roamed the streets of Washington, D.C. at night. One night she was picked up by the police, and ultimately placed in a home with others “like her.” Back then, these types of events were attributed to old age and senility.  Today, my mother is living with Alzheimer’s disease – just like my aunt and grandmother. And at the age of 66, I […]

Jun 092017
 
Chronicles of My Alzheimer's: A Former New York Times Reporter Shares His Story

For a while now, I’ve been worried about memory lapses. About big vacant holes where my memories should live. For example, I completely forgot that one of my best friends growing up also worked for me at the school newspaper at Penn State. I all too often looked at my sister with blank stares when she described her memories of our family life; I just don’t remember the stories. But I didn’t rush off for […]

May 032017
 

The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the Alzheimer’s Association and our nationwide network of dedicated advocates are celebrating breaking news from Washington – federal research funding for Alzheimer’s at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has received a $400 million increase in the FY2017 budget. We first shared with you the Senate Appropriations and House Appropriations Committee’s intent to once again pass an historic funding increase in the summer and today it was officially signed into law […]

Dec 222016
 
Finding Joy During My First Christmas with Alzheimer’s

The holidays have long been known as the season of joy, but how do you truly define joy? As someone living with Alzheimer’s disease and approaching my first Christmas since receiving the diagnosis, I’m beginning to define joy differently than I have in previous years. While I previously found joy during the holidays in festive decorations, music, meals and parties, I’ve come to realize these are fleeting. This year, spending time with my family, making […]

Dec 132016
 
Celebrate the Season By Being True to Yourself

I was a college professor and nurse with my doctorate in education when I started having memory problems that were concerning me. Students had complained of inconsistent homework assignments, and my son Dan noticed that I was repeating myself in our phone conversations. Then one day while giving a speech in Washington D.C. about medical ethics, I totally blanked about where I was and why I was there – in the middle of my speech. […]

Oct 202016
 
Thank You for Loving Me

In 2015, I was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. My father, 85, and the youngest of 10, is living with Alzheimer’s, as well as one of his brothers. Their father also had the disease. Still fresh in my mind is an early incident at my grandparent’s home. My grandmother was trying to tell my grandfather where the closet was so that he could hang his coat, as he had done so many times before. He […]

Sep 012016
 
Every Step Is a Step that Matters

I’ve been a proud team captain for Walk to End Alzheimer’s for five years. I walk for all those living with Alzheimer’s, including myself. I started having trouble with my memory in my 40s. I worked in a doctor’s office as a nurse and suddenly I forgot how to calculate inches to feet in height. Then, I couldn’t remember what shots were given at what age. Eventually, I forgot how to spell the doctor’s name. […]

Dec 152015
 
Joy, Peace and Hope

The holiday season that commences with Thanksgiving and concludes on New Year’s Day is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Even though I struggle with the daily demands of younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, this time of year is special because I am filled with the joy, peace and hope. I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in November of 2009, so I’ve had lots of time to learn to cope with the challenges of […]

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