Aug 302012
 
Breaking Past Stigma & Finding Hope: Rob Epp's Story

Courage is the thing you need most and the hardest thing to get when you’re faced with Alzheimer’s Disease. Jordan, my partner of 17 years has younger-onset Alzheimer’s. His father and several grandparents had memory problems, so the diagnosis was not totally unexpected, but it is still hard to grasp that someone so young and vital is facing such a ravaging illness. Since Jordan’s diagnosis four years ago, we’ve both experienced the stigma that is [...]

Aug 302012
 
A Caregiver's Perspective on Stigma and Alzheimer’s

We spoke with Shirley Sillman, wife and caregiver of Bob Sillman, who was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s in 2007. Have you noticed stigma or jokes about Alzheimer’s in pop culture? Of course.  But we (society) tend to mask our fears and misunderstanding though humor.  I do it every day.  If I didn’t joke or laugh about it — especially with Bob — I would probably be a wreck.  Do jokes marginalize and ultimately stigmatize the [...]

Jul 032012
 
Alzheimer's Is One of My Greatest Battles

I have faced many battles in my life.  I served in Vietnam as a Marine Corps corporal. I also completed four tours in Iraq in the U.S. Army, and four of my sons served in Iraq, too.  But all my battles have not been while serving in the military. My mother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease.  I lost my son, Dennis Jr., in a motorcycle accident.  And now, I am facing my own battle with [...]

Jun 202012
 
With Endurance and Each Other, We Will Push Past the Finish Line in this Fight Against Alzheimer's

Today is the longest day of the year — and as evening sets, Alzheimer’s advocates across the globe are pushing themselves to the finish line of a 16-hour endurance relay to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s. This event, Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™, and the dedication it requires holds such significance for those who have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It symbolizes the endurance, love, patience and strength it takes to [...]

Jun 012012
 
Lee's Story: My Diagnosis of Younger-Onset Alzheimer's

In 2008, at the age of 62, I was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s). Not long after, I retired after serving 23 years as the President/CEO of the Private Industry Council (PIC) of San Luis Obispo County. While I thought I was functioning well, there were ample signs a few years before, indicating not all was necessarily right with my health. Part of me recognized this, while another part of [...]

Jun 012012
 
Val's Story: A Care Partner's Perspective on Her Husband's Younger-Onset Diagnosis

I’m Valerie Ferrero, wife, mother and care partner. My husband Lee was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s)  in November 2008. This is the beginning of my story….. It is difficult to know what action to take, what plans to make, or what the future holds when you don’t have the answer to the “elephant in the room.” It took more than seven years for us to get Lee’s diagnosis of younger-onset [...]

Apr 232012
 
Why I Signed the Petition for a Strong National Alzheimer's Plan

My mother had Alzheimer’s disease, and what it did to her was just terrible. Her mother had it too. A few years ago, my wife, a retired nurse, noticed that I was having short-term memory problems. When I got lost trying to find my way around a familiar hospital campus, we decided that I needed to be medically evaluated. That was in 2010, and I was diagnosed with an “early-stage” memory problem. A year later, [...]

Oct 312011
 
Facing Early-Onset Alzheimer's with Family, Humor & Love

November is National Family Caregiver Month, and I wanted to share some personal thoughts on the subject of caregivers.   I was a caregiver for my father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s 15 years ago, and I was diagnosed with the disease two-and -a-half years ago. The past. It has been almost 25 years since my father started to exhibit the signs of dementia.  Back in those days, Alzheimer’s was not well- known by doctors [...]

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