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 […]

Jun 172014
 
Fighting Alzheimer's From Sunrise to Sunset

In the Fall of 2010, my family and I received the worst news we had ever had—my 57-year-old mom had dementia.  It’s been four years since we received that initial diagnosis, and the reality and complexity of the disease is only getting more and more difficult to comprehend. I’ve spent the last year watching my mom’s motor skills and memory decline and it truly breaks my heart.  I can’t imagine my life without her, and […]

Jun 142014
 
Go Big or Go Home: Advocating for Dad

Father’s Day – or any day, for that matter – is not a typical day for Jason. Jason is a teenage caregiver. While many young adults of 18 are thinking about final exams and high school graduation parties, Jason Hatke’s mind is looking much further into the future. At age 46, Jason’s father Mike was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Jason was only 13. There were signs in the years before Jason’s father was diagnosed. […]

May 052014
 
Post-Advocacy Forum: An Advocate Reflects

In a record year for the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum, nearly 900 advocates gathered on Capitol Hill, compelling Congress to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority. With representatives present from all 50 states, this event once again brought together those affected by Alzheimer’s and allowed them to share their stories, their passion and their personal challenges living with the disease. Chuck Warner was one of the 900 strong. From April 7-9, my wife Lisa and […]

Apr 212014
 
Where the Truth Lies, An Excerpt from <i>Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias</i>

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths. ~William James My father doesn’t know that my sister, Alice, is dead. He doesn’t know that she had cancer, that she suffered, or that she, in a pain-pills-slur, asked to be buried in a red dress with no shoes. My father doesn’t know that I am his daughter, Elizabeth Emily, the girl he nicknamed “E.E.” for brevity and affection. He […]

Apr 182014
 
Breaking Our Silence on Capitol Hill

When my husband Jim, who just turned 53, was first diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. The doctor didn’t tell us Alzheimer’s is fatal. He didn’t tell us there is no cure or that we should get our affairs in order. He didn’t tell us how long Jim might have left. He simply said, “See you back in six months.” If you are lucky, your doctor might refer […]

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