Jun 232015

I am sitting at a dinner party in Deauville, France, listening to my grandfather recount stories I’ve heard him tell a thousand times before; times spent with Peter O’Toole in the desert, his love affair with Barbra Streisand and with other leading ladies, past exploits at card tables and racetracks.omar1

But this night is different. The stories are off; rich details normally embedded like fine jewels are missing. The characters are colorless and the anecdotes lack grounding in space and time – they just seem to float out of place and order. Attempts at humor have been replaced by an obvious air of anxiety and frustration brought on by his trying to remember.

He’s just tired, I think to myself. He’s been traveling too much. Pay it no mind.

But then he starts the stories over again, seemingly unaware that he’s just finished recounting them.

Something is wrong.

This was my first indication that my grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease, and in the subsequent years, many clues would follow.

omar2It’s the quintessential irony — creating a life filled with cherished memories and relationships only to lose them.

A World Champion bridge player, an Academy Award nominated actor, a man proficient in seven languages with a higher IQ than anyone I’ll likely ever meet…Alzheimer’s does not discriminate in its victims.

It has been a slow and steady decline made all the more apparent by a lack of effective treatment or a cure.

So we must unite.

Throughout the month of June, join me in taking the pledge to “Go Purple” for Alzheimer’s awareness and let’s find purplepledgeomara cure together.

Alzheimer’s is a thief — stealing brilliant minds. This disease must be stopped.


About the Author: Omar Sharif, Jr. is an Egyptian actor and spokesperson. An advocate for equal human rights, he is the grandson of legendary Hollywood actor Omar Sharif.

  144 Responses to “Stories My Grandfather Told Me”

  1. Wonderful post! I’m in. My mom has Alzheimer’s so I’m doing this for her.

    • My mom really fought the good fight with Alzheimer's and lived lots longer than every single person who came in to the rest home with her….she had to be in a lock down facility as she got violent…just like my grandmother….but she was finally released from that "Hell" on June 18, still missing her but at least she can rest now and be at peace finally…..it is the only disease where the patient dies two deaths and the families suffer thru two deaths also…..

      • so sorry for your loss. My mom has Alzheimer’s, and I continue to pray that they find a cure for this horrible disease. You are right – they die twice. I grieve the loss of the mom to this disease and I will grieve for her when she passes away. Such a painful disease.

  2. Thank you for sharing this and joining the fight. Awareness is so very important!

  3. Alzheimer's took someone I live and have shared over 50 years with, my husband George. Like your grandfather George was pretty special, too, well-educated, three degrees, a metallurgical engineer, international career, friends all over the world, a practical man, too, fixer of things and repairman, wood worker, father of three and grandfather, lover of boats, former fisherman and hockey player. None of these accomplishments and attributes could hold off this horrendous disease. I think he kept it at bay, disguising it for a long time, although I do not think even he knew what was taking him over. Certainly, I had no idea, even though looking back, I was being a caretaker for several years, trying to keep him comfortable, sitting with him as he lay listlessly watching TV and thinking his lethargy was due medications he was taking for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Since then I have learned that caretakers suffer, too. We grieve because what we assumed about the future has all been taken away and we are alone and, in my case drained financially.

    • very well said. my husband is 54 years old. he has frontal lob dementia . in I kept him home for as long as I could (3 years). he became so violent that for the last 6 months he has been in 3 hospitals and 3 different nursing homes. I too am financially drained.

    • I hear you Nancy – you are not alone and I grieve with you and my mother who also is the caretaker of Dad.

    • Nancy Mitchell, I am so sorry for your loss. I understand it too well. I had my dad with me for 60 years & Alz. took him away . I can't say enough of the kind of man he was. He was a family man. Every day my dad would tell me," Family is the most important thing in the world." Always stay close to your family." He really did say this daily for 62 years, & I miss hearing him say that. He was father of 3, grandfather of 6, & great grandfather of 8. He loved us all. He was an avid fisherman & loved to play poker with his friends. But when Alz. took him over, he did nothing. No reading or TV because he couldn't see or keep up. My mother died when she was 48, of bone cancer. I miss them both so much but I have to say watching my dad die ever so slowly, has overwhelmed me with grief. It will be 3 yrs. in January, but it's like yesterday to me.

      • My father was an educated man. He worked hard everyday of his life. Served in the Army Air Corp, in all theaters of WWII. Every year he planned a vegetable garden. Dad came through heart surgery, cancer, accidents and worked ….always worked and cared for my children as if they were his own. Teaching my sons to respect all life. It came gradually like a thief. Little things. Dad fought it. Sometimes he was so lucid. I took care of him for years. Thought the yelling, crying, bewilderment and silence. Utter silence. One night as he lay in bed, eyes closed …I told him I would be next to him and wouldn’t leave him. I told my stern but loving Dad I loved him. “I love you too”, he whispered. The last words he spoke. He passed eight days short of his 95th birthday. It has been a year. I should be glad he was here so long even though the last four years were torture for him, my childten and myself. I am heart broken!

  4. Amazing storyteller and thank you for sharing! Our family history has had it share of Alzheimer's and dementia too. Keep up the fight for research and to end this terrible disease.

  5. I can relate to the many wonderful stories told by a grandparent. I will March on for progress as well.

  6. Welcome to our family fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Sorry you had to join this club.

  7. I have admired your Grandfather for years. He is an amazing actor & man.

  8. Alzheimer's definitely does not discriminate. My wife is in the later part of stage 7, the fight has drained us financially and emotionally, and every time something new pops up I feel I cant do this anymore, but then poof like magic, I find the strength to keep going and caring for the Woman I love and have loved for the last 19 years. She was Diagnosed back in 2010 and they think it started in 08 though she hid it from me for the first 2 years. It's been a hard road and will continue to be a hard road to travel but being there for her every step of the was is more then worth it to me. as a lyric writer I write songs to bring awareness to Alzheimer's. But no one is interested in my Demos due to its sad and not commercial enough for the radio:(
    anyway, Omar if there is any advise to give it would be take things 1 day at a time and get thru the hurdles that each day brings. God bless and good luck.

  9. My Mother has Alzheimer’s as well as her 7 Sisters and one Brother. This disease is the most hurtful because it strips us our cherished memories. I have recently bevome a Silpada Jewelry Rep and plan on Hosting A Alzheimer’s Fund Raiser. 100% Of my Commission will be donated to Alzheimer’s.

  10. Yes, you sit and listen realizing they are living in the Moment ,

  11. Thank you for sharing your grandfather's story. I lost my dad to Alzheimer's 9 years ago. Like your grandfather my dad had a very high IQ. When he started showing the first signs of Alzheimer's I would tell myself there is no way that a man as smart as him could have Alzheimer's. Unfortunately I was wrong. We need to find a cure for this disease so others won't have to watch their love one a slip away one memory at a time.

  12. Lost my mom to this horrible disease. Let’s fight to find a cure!!!

  13. I hate this disease with a passion! Like you all must, I have just come home from visiting my dear mum in her nursing home and could still cry a bucket full of tears even after several yrs. Her life for years has consisted of her hardly interacting and just walking the corridors constantly. She recently fell and broke her hip and hear you all say aww what a shame, but to be honest because she can’t get up and roam as she used to her brain has come to life! I can hold a garbled conversation with her and although its so sad she can’t walk like she used to I can spend time with her like mother and daughter agiain. I was happy that she cried when I was leaving ! I know that is selfish of me but have a little bit of my mum back with me for just a little while was priceless ! Thanks to all who have been sharing their stories good luck and godbless you all xxx

  14. Watching a loved one with Alzheimer's is like watching an ice cube melt, and not have the ability to do anything but stand back, feeling completely helpless. Omar Sharif was probably my first Hollywood crush as a young girl when I watched him perform on the screen, getting lost in his beautiful eyes and his voice like liquid velvet! How heartbreaking for his family! We made this journey with our father. For all of the adventures we shared with our father, this was definitely one of the most difficult, but also amazing as we struggled to understand the disease. After Dad became ill, we found out he had a first cousin, and an uncle who also were stricken. Watching my father was like looking into my future. It has become a quest to find out all I can about the disease in order to perhaps "beat the odds." Dad requested his story be written down early on in his disorder, his reasons were "so it might help someone someday." I have been in the process of doing so for the past three years. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps others to know they are not alone in their journey,

  15. I lost my dad to this awful disease… he was a smart man, a funny man, and a loving man. This disease destroyed all of that and he became a man that I was scared of. I wanted to hug him and be near him but it became impossible because of how vicious he became as the disease ravaged his mind. I would see glimpses of the man I loved and adored but they were fleeting and so very few. I had lost him long before he passed away and it is heartbreaking to remember and to watch others deal with this same slow loss.

  16. Alzheimer’s has taken my maternal grandfather, uncle and my mother. I was my mother’s caregiver. Am I scared that I’m going to get Alzheimer’s? Absolutely!!!!! It is hereditary!!!!! I want to become part of the cure!!

  17. Omar you cannot help but suffer as this happens to your grandfather. I hope that the pain is not too long lasting and that you have great success in funding research and finding a cure/prevention for this devastating disease.

  18. Probably the most cruel of all diseases know to mankind. I’ve experienced with my beautiful mother. It doesn’t just affect the person with disease, it crushes all who surround the individual.

  19. my husband got Alzheimer's at 55 that was 12 year's ago .I love him and miss him so much.

  20. I met your Grandfather once. He was making a movie at a hotel in LasVegas. He was very kind, signed an autograph and spoke to me for a moment. Without a doubt he was the most beautiful man I've ever seen. I can't even explain his eyes, he could look into your soul. He was a wonderful actor. My prayers go to him, you and your family.

  21. My Mother had Alz. for 10 years,and has since passed 5 years ago. It is the most awful cruelest disease,

  22. Alzheimer's stole our Mother from us for nearly 17 years. She was a lovely woman and one of her many accomplishments, she was a mother to 9 successful kids. She passed away in 2010, five days before her 90th birthday.

  23. My story so much like Nancy Mitchells. Husband of 45 years slowly slipping away from me! And yes, as the caretaker, the pennies slipping away. I know God will provide, but doesn’t make it any easier! God Bless and God Speed to all that are ” suffering” as we are!

  24. He was my moms favorite actor. So sad this awful disease has invaded him! We also have had it in our family!

    Count me in!!

  25. Thank you for your testimony. Alzheimer's stole both of my Grandmothers. What a wonderful Grandfather you have – can't see that face without thinking about Dr. Zhivago. What a brilliant man. Best wishes to you both.

  26. Alzheimer’s took my mother about 5 years ago.It is an ugly disease that robs wonderful people of their personality. She was a sweet,calm , “lady”, who became the opposite of that because of this disease.She would have died( no pun intended) if she could have seen herself towards the end. The Alzheimer’s association was wonderful with advice, support services & a shoulder to cry on for my sisters & I. Someone needs to find a cure!

  27. We lost my father-in-law, William Jackson Streetman to this disease. A Navy pilot, two master's degrees, head of design staff for General Motors, a brilliant mind and beloved father and grandfather to this disease. So incredibly sad for families of Alzheimer's patients to lose their family members by inches. We need to find a cure for this disease and soon. Thank you for sharing your story. Loved your granddad's movies.

  28. I hate this disease and what it has done to my husband. I have watched it change a once vibrant man who enjoyed telling stories and corny jokes and spend time with our neighbors to a man who denies that there is anything wrong. Who goes on and off his medications. When off, threatens to leave me and divorce me. Who no longer finds the joy he once did in spending time with our neighbors or sharing his wonderful stories and corny jokes.

    It has taken much negotiation to get him back to working on the yard. But if you need him to do something out of his daily norm that is not his idea, it is very difficult.

    As his spouse and the the only one working it is very stressful. Causes my own health issues, sigh . . . . ….

    But we do it because we love them!

    • I am in the same boat. Honestly, I could have written everything you did. I have only been at this a couple of years so I am not as experienced but am trying to take each day as it comes. It is exhausting to say the least, trying to be there for everyone. I am also the only child of my two parents. Unfortunately, I am not able to spend much time with them. This disease took me by surprise. I don’t know why I though Alzheimer’s would not happen in my family. The hardest part for me is having a good day that feels “normal”. Then the next day is not. I guess it is a reminder of what is slipping away. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • You sound like you could be talking about my husband. Hugs and prayers to you.

    • My husband 82 has had AZ since 2012 but I am certain even before he was diagnosed. It is sad to see someone who was once so vibrant and intelligent, university professor. not remember how to shave, brush teeth or at time how to put on a T shirt, or tie his shoes. There does not seem to be any joy in his life now that he can not drive his car or motor cycle. He does nothing around the house, things he used to do such as all the repairs, finances, helping with decisions about home repairs, buying larger items etc are no longer of any interest. Not only does the AZ person loose independence but so does the care giver,this is what causes me stress.

  29. In honor of of previous. Mother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s 5 years ago…

    I walk for ALZ every year since she passed away.

  30. Very sorry to hear this. The reason I know who your Grandfather is, is because of my mother who would make us watch your Grandfather whenever he was on TV. Like your Grandfather she to has Alzheimer and was a well read woman and now she walks with a shuffle. This horrible disease shows no mercy.
    My mother would play solitaire for hours and now she could not tell you what suit is on the cards.
    One funny thing, my mother love to cut out articles from either the paper or a magazine and share them with us when we would visit. When we decided to put her in a nursing home for care we went through her paperwork. I found articles about Alzheimer's saying ( when you start to forget ). She never shared those with us but somehow knew she was starting the disease.
    The only thing we survivors have are the memories, like Carol Burnett said at the end of her show, "thanks for the memories".

  31. May God bless you and your wonderful family. Thank you so much for sharing your words.

  32. Took the pledge earlier in the month. Let's end Alz Disease in our lifetime.

  33. God bless you and all those touched by this hateful disease. It stole my granny from us years before her heart finally gave out. The worst times were when she knew she was sick and she cried. I see my mother have moments like granny did. And I imagine my fate will follow the same path. There has to be a way we can halt this in its progression.
    Seeing a brilliant mind or the most simple one be trapped inside and unable to share a most basic expression is heartbreaking. Yet I have hope. Hope that my granny is the last in our family to fight through this and lose. I'll never give up hope. Not for my family or yours!

  34. I am so sorry to hear of this. Thank you for your efforts.

  35. I'm in. I'm so sad I just saw this now but I'll do through the rest of the summer I don't care! #curealzheirners

  36. Oh, I only know too well how my brilliant husband's mind was robbed of this disease. He had a PHD in economics . He died 6 weeks ago after a length y battle with this disease. ALZ is a thief that robs the mind. Ever day I seem to hear of someone who has been diagnosed with this disease.

  37. I loved your grandfather in Dr. Zhivago and so many other movies. I am so saddened to hear this. Sending my prayers for him and your whole family.


    • "Someday There Will Be A Cure"….WE MUST continue to raise funds for Research & Awareness of this devastating disease……My husband of 59 years lost many brain cells & his personality to Alzheimer's over 6 long years of battling this horrible Disease…..Thank G_d he is finally at Peace……Our Struggle is OVER…../it is sad but this is the reality…..Cherished Memories….

  39. My Mother and 5 brothers and sisters join in the Walk to End Alzheimers's every year in honor of my father who passed away in 2010. My parents were married for 52 years. I watched him slowly forget us. We need to find a cure!

  40. It's a hateful disease-robbing the memory is the worst. My father was a victim as were we, his children, who watched the slow decline, supported and loved him to the end. I miss my Dad❤️

  41. Thank you for posting this. I lost my mother to this terrible disease.

  42. I know those tales telling so well, my mother a teacher for over 40 yrs, and a pharmacist died of this disease in May 29 2012. They said that intelligent people get this disease in a larger percent than normal intelligence people. It was really hard, because one wants to do something, but there is nothing we can do. It picks its victims without discrimination, creed or race.
    They are trying to find a cure by 2025, but that is too late for Mom, but I registered to be a volunteer in case of clinical trials, and to continue to watch ourselves. I miss her every day, and miss not having done all those things she wanted to do, the time came to fast and her mind deteriorate very soon. So I now can just keep myself informed in case I need to be checked for it.

  43. So tragic. Such an amazing talent robbed of his gifts all too soon.

  44. My heart breaks for you and your grandfather. I lost my Dad to Alzheimer’s a year ago this month. There is nothing more difficult. If I can help you in any way please let me know. Your grandfather brought me great mystery and joy. I wish you peace through these most difficult times.

  45. I support The Alzheimers Association! We do a support group at Meditech Health Services and I am proud to be a facillitator! This is a very moving story.

  46. This is for my Mum.

  47. My Momma has this awful disease and has been in the nursing home since April of 2014. This was the only thing my Dad could do for her after she found the keys to her pick up and drove 65 miles to my house. It usually takes about an hour and 15 minutes. It took her 2 hours. But, with moments of clarity, Guardian Angels and driving the same route to see me, she got to my house safe and sound. We had Silver Alert posted on her. Bless her heart, she just wanted to come up and spend the weekend with me. How I wished it could have been, like so many other times she did.
    Mom is an only child, her parents died from cancer at 65 and 78. She will be 86 July 22nd. She and my Daddy have been married 63 1/2 years and love each other dearly. I liken their marriage to the "Notebook". Their house is just 6/10 of mile from the nursing home, so Daddy goes a couple of times a day to visit her. I went this last Monday to visit them both. I was able to spend almost 5 hours with her and we had a great visit. She never had any "Sundowner" symptoms and wanted to walk me to the door. I haven't seen her walk since Mother's Day of 2014. She uses a walker now, but she was shuffling right along. The nurse said she hadn't seen her walk that well is some time. Monday was a very good day, and I cherish one I get with my precious Momma. By the way, I took Daddy out to dinner for Father's Day, since I had to work that day. Yep! it was a good day.

  48. WOW! Thanks for sharing your precious story. Good to know I am not alone… My first and "Second" Experience with my mothers dementia and there is many, was way back in in 2007 My Mother paid her Mortgage payment TWICE!!! The first time she did it, I thought well Hell! no prob… I can handle it… The Second time which was the following 2 months later she did it again. And two months after that Again. Now! I am dipping in my account and late on my bills to help her pay her Utilities because she paid her Mortgage twice and checks were Bouncing all over the place… So here I am, I had to move in with her I am her Care Giver.. In 2008 is when I was trying to be a Kidney Donor, yeap she is on dialysis as well we had two evaluation for Surgery in 2008 one was her at UCD. and the other was in San Francisco because I didn't handle the first No. That's when she was Diagnose in 08 . We been through it all, I am certified home Hemo But she is back at the Center it was to much for me to do alone. In Addition I wanted to know as much as I could per her treatments.. Knowledge is the key to a Life. We have been through so many health challenges Severe health challenges but we are weathering them as they come. ( "We are Doing da damn thang" Handling it) I see a lot of life in her, but when she is tired Out of all sons and she have she will let me know. My life have been on hold for 9 years now..Every blue moon My younger brother will pop up and give me a break and I can get me drank dance groove on, but not to often. Its all good, she was and still is the BOMB Mom. She raised 4 boys on her own and we didn't go hungry. She left my dad back in 1975 he was VERY Abusive to her VERY!!!!! Sometimes I wonder is that cause of Premature Dementia by him hitting her in her head when he would get drunk or sober too he had a JACKUP Temper I call it being Coward per life's challenges. When me and Brother got big enough to help protect her she Left him. The Base In Hawthorne Nv. went contract in 1980 So she transferred to Stockton Ca. To Work at Tracey Defense Depot at Forklift Operator, retired in 1993 bought in Sac. Ca. and This is where she is at.. In her Home.. Where she will be until she go to her new home Way up in the Sky. I as well will be here with her to end. She was the Bomb Mom she gave me and my Siblings peace. when she left Dad. I have no help with caring for my mother. Just a tab bit little help and that's my younger brother. Other then that I'm alone.. And it gets lonely and I would like to be out there enjoying my life. It is what it is I wont Complain. Her Dementia is not "real" bad but its most definitely there and increasing slowing…I am adjusting as we go through the changes. I come to fine that Repetition, same o same o is important with her illness.

  49. I had no idea until I read this post that Omar Sharif is also a victim of Alzheimer's and I am simply crushed by that information. I have been a fan since I saw Funny Girl in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967 or 68–can't remember exactly. I bought the soundtrack (on vinyl of course) and wore it out so had to replace it! I had the movie on VHS but now have it on DVD. Of course this illness explains why I haven't heard very much about Mr. Sharif in recent years. I knew he was a Masters Bridge Champion. I guess I simply assumed he was playing a lot of bridge. I am very sorry to hear this. My mother may have had Alzheimer's–she had the symptoms but she also had cancer throughout her body, including her brain. She also had a couple of strokes, one of which took away her ability to communicate with us. She could speak but she spoke in numbers, which of course were meaningless to us. I would try to explain that I didn't understand her but she wasn't understanding me. It just really made her angry. Sadly she passed away after about 3 weeks, having small strokes over that period and then one massive one. Prayers for Mr Sharif and for Omar Sharif, Jr. It is so sad to watch a loved one deteriorate to this extent.

  50. Please Omar write all his memories down and never forget remember for him, make him laugh and smile it does work some times. May you and your Grandfather have many more memories to remember, be safe both of you, sent with Love and Hugs. PS I know how it feels.

  51. My heart goes out to you. Omar Shariff was a legendary actor and personality: how terrible this disease is. My beautiful, intelligent Mother was a victim of this cruel disease. She hid it successfully from us all for years, but it gradually took her over until my best friend and confidante became an almost empty shell. I grieved for her whilst she battled with it in the last few years of her life, and now she has passed away I am still grieving for her loss. I have now lost both my parents to this dreadful disease and am scared that I too will succumb to it. I don’t want my daughters to have to witness what I did with my parents.

  52. Respect Sir Sharif Omar…..you the best….salute:))

  53. So many of us are affected as you are, by seeing your loved ones slowly slipping away into this terrible, destructive illness. I love my mum so much, I miss her and just wish the lord would take her. She would be horrified to see herself. It is comforting to know that so many others understand the pain WE feel experiencing first hand just how this dreadful disease tears our hearts.

  54. Thank you for sharing your story is sad I lost my husband almost 9 month terrible disease. This disease take all the family we need a help. God Bless.

  55. God Bless Omar ~

  56. My family is going through this with my mother

    We can truly empathize with your family Omar. God bless.

  57. Great post, My dad has been diagnosed as well after I too noticed the differences in his stories and repeating. I'm in.

  58. Beautiful story,,,,, i love every movie your grandfather did,,, I know all to well what alzheimers does to people!! Seen it up close and work with those who have it!

    Bless him for sharing his stories with you,, love him for ever with all your heart! You’re a beautiful person who stays with him no matter what!

    Big hugs for you and yours and your grandfather

  59. Lost my mother to this terrible disease. She was a brilliant, vivacious woman, avid bridge player and to see a mind that was so sharp be reduced to her not knowing her own son's name, not knowing she has to eat to live, is just pure evil. People we need to find a cure, please support Alzheimer's Association

  60. Every day I am praying that Today the cure will be discovered.

  61. Have an uncle with Dementia. He is a wonderful man but all he really says to me now is that zI am a good person and he loves me. Lost a Dear ,sweet Mother in Law to Alzheimers. Sometimes I think the loss of memory is God’s. way of protecting us from bad memories.my Mother in law could not remember her daughter and son who never came to see her.

  62. My Mom had it. So any thing to help with awareness I am most definitively in.

  63. Terrible disease .I am a Caregiver and have several clients with it . For some reasons they always seem to be happy , and my goal to keep it that way!

  64. Dear Omar I am so sorry to read about your grandfather. Both my parents are in their 60's and suffer from dementia. They are special people who taught me to look into people's souls not their skin color, religion, nationality or gender. I am your neighbor from Israel. I wish someday people will stop fighting each other and start fighting together against Alzheimer. This horrible disease does not discriminate, why should we?

  65. So many sad stories. Although my Mom didn't have an Alzheimer's diagnosis, her dementia stole her ability to talk, it was impossible really to know what she remembered. It took 7 years and all we had was her smile and wonderful laugh, that was like gold to us.

  66. I'm in the first stages of Alzheimers and I am dreading the day I won't know my family members. I am 70 years young and to this day I still work, do crossword puzzles, and read, read, read. My Dr.'s told me to keep my mind active with anything that catches my attention. I like to sew and quilt as well, and with the daily dose of Aricept (for past 5 years) the progression has been slow. Thank You to all Alzheimers supporters.

    Sincerely, Fran Taylor

  67. A horrible illness, too many people too soon leave us yet remain. So sad to hear this about Omar Sharif, wonderful actor.

  68. I’m loosing my awesome 83 year old dad, William Spears, to dementia. Mentally and physically. The one thing I thank God for is that he continues to enjoy going to church. I no longer hear the awesome stories of he and his siblings growing up in the backwoods of Florida and it breaks my heart.

  69. it is a horrible disease. Like your grandfather my husband was a spectacular intelligent and gifted OB/GYN who also taught inthemedical school and received the ” apple ” award from students for manyhearsin a row. Like you I noticed lapses, inability to find words, etc. and thought hewas just worn out after 50 years of caring for patients and teaching. Heisintheeary severe stage nowsome 8 years later and As there isnohooefor a cure I jumpinto his world and live there with him.. It seems to strike very intelligent people.

  70. Cherish all the memories and stories he has told you. He was a brilliant actor and probably an inspiration to all the actors that followed him.

  71. It is ironic that the color purple represents the two diseases for which I am currently advocating awareness. From father died from complications due to Alzheimers at the age of 90. My Dad could fix anything. I first notices that something was not right when he could not figure out how to rewire a lamp. The first signs, loss of executive function. Not being able to know the steps to complete a project. The other disease is Pancreatic Cancer which my husband of 45 years is fighting. Both these diseases are vastly under funded for research.

    Omar, thank you for telling your grandfather’s story. God Bless.

  72. My dad had Alzheimer’s for 10. Years.He was a kind gentle man .everyon loved him.I miss him and I pray to him when I need help..Rest in peace my beautiful dad I love you.

  73. I have lost my father ,my sister to this dreaded illness. Now I find my only remaining sibling has also been affected by it. Three members of one family is strange in my eyes

  74. I feel your pain. Unfortunately more people will soon feel the pain of losing loved ones to this horrible disease. Until so many are affected, the progress to a cure will be slow. If there was a radical trial available when my dad was in the early stages we would have volunteered as there might have been hope. This diseased has sucked the essence from my dad.

  75. My husband also has Alzheimer's, after 25 years together, he doesn't know thàt I am his wife. He does know some people, but not his grandchildren. Thank you for sharing your storie with everyone, it lets us know we are not alone. Thank you.

  76. Very interesting I would like to hear more,

    I have been diagnosed also.

  77. Thanks for sharing so eloquently with us. I lost my wonderful Dad to this disease.

  78. I have been there. Good luck and love to you and your family. Find someone who understands the journey. I will wear purple.

  79. I love Omar Sharif. Praying for his safety.

  80. Thanks for sharing I lost my mother to this disease!

  81. Omar Sharif was a wonderful actor and was and still is a very handsome man. I too understand the disease as my mother also had it. I will wear purple.

  82. The admiration the I have for you grandfather does not fade away because of this occupational hazard of such a highly intelligent man.Thank you for bringing to attention the frustrations and opinions of this affliction-Omar Sharif is a great man, was previously a wonderful actor, always loved and that is all that matters .
    God bless xxx

  83. Just keep reminding him of all those rich memories, show him photos and videos, keep stimulating him, and listen to each repeated story as if its the first time.
    Thank you for sharing.

  84. Bless your heart. It's a long and awful road. Treasure the moments you can. I went through it with my father and wish it upon no one.

  85. Be strong. Their characters are still there just make sure you get help to keep you all safe

  86. My dad died last year of Alzheimer's. It's a horrible way to go.

  87. My mother has this disease , It is From The Pitts Of Hell , I hate It , Will Be Praying For Your Grandfather And Your Family , I will Wear Purple

  88. my Mother had the same disease….God bless your Grandfather i do hope they find something for it…Xx

  89. I am 61 & I was diagnosed 2 yrs. Ago. I feel the shift that accurate. I am trying to stay with my dignity as long as I can Thank you for sharing this story. I was a huge fan of your grandfather. God Bless you & Family.

  90. I am so sorry. It is criminal that this disease robs the memory of this handsome, wonderful man.

  91. My 86 year old mother was just diagnosed with Alzheimer's. At first, I thought she was just getting older and forgetting. Now, she repeats and embellishes all her stories and sometimes makes up stories. She still recognizes her immediate family, but can no longer live alone, since she has forgotten how to use the tv remote, microwave etc. She is very paranoid and hides everything too. God help us find a cure. Thank you for sharing Omar.

  92. Both of my parents have this horrible disease. I am the sole caregiver. I join with you to push for a cure!

  93. a great actor, a great man… i always adored, amongst his other qualities, his way of acting, his eyes, his voice ….. his everything…. Quite right this disease is a stealing brilliant minds! lets STOP it!

  94. One of my favorite actors from the days of Dr. Zhivago!! So very sorry he has to suffer this deadly disease.

  95. So sorry to hear this! Cherish all your memories!

  96. I just loved watching your dad with his piercing eyes and his suave appearance. Why does something like this disease have to take away a person's memory? I just watched the Glen Campbell special last night and it made me think about all of the poor souls who are suffering with this. Although, I guess they aren't the ones who suffer, it is their loved ones who suffer, watching their special person slowly fade away. If there is a "God" why would that god allow this to go on??????

  97. Love your grandfather
    He was fine !!!!
    Brilliant actor

  98. Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes we forget how devastating this is across all demographics. No one is safe.

  99. I am so sorry this had to happen to such a good man. This disease does not discriminate. I lost my dad to this devastating disease this past Oct at the age of 76. He suffered for 10 long years, we kept him home with us for the entire time refusing to put him into a home. This disease is a Monster.

  100. I lost my father to this terrible disease. When he no longer recognized me I said goodbye to my father and hello to my new best friend. Ten years ago this weekend I said goodbye to that best friend. We must find a cure

    • My mom has Alzheimer's and I'm dreading the day that we no longer recognizes me. But hearing how you said goodbye to your dad and hello to your new best friend helped me put some of this dread aside and start thinking about the day when I get a new best friend. Thank you Kristy!

    • Kristy, that is beautiful. I am losing two friends and was having a hard time knowing what is best to do. I can have two new best friends. Thank you so much. What a wonderful perspective.

  101. I met yout grandpa in okla city ok at an opening of Lawrence. Of arabia. He was agentlemen ,kindto all. The employees i had a dad with Alzheimer's i know the sorrows of this disease God. Bless. You and your family

  102. I am devastated to learn that your grandfather has Alzheimer's Disease. He bought me much joy and I always thought he was the most handsomest man on screen. Not to mention sexy. Thank you for sharing. It is so horrible to watch our loved ones fade away with this disease. It is a bandit that comes any time of day or night and robs you mentally, emotionally and physically. I am so happy you recognized the signs and was able to be proactive. My partner exhibited all of the signs and symptoms but we, his loved ones, didn't recognize them as such until 2 years before he died because he was capable of functioning until a year before his death. Enjoy your grandfather, remember his stories and don't be afraid of helping him tell them. Without knowing you, I love you for your caring and efforts to fight this terrible disease. I wish you every Blessing.

  103. I totally understand.. But the greatest sadness is that no 2 cases of Alz D are alike. My husband was diagnosed in 2011–and it wasn't so bad at first. He accepted it, saying: 'It is what it is'. Now, it is 2015, and the craziness has begun.–he hears people in our house–but there are no people here. He cannot finish sentences…he cannot sleep, he want beer to help him sleep–but I have hidden the car keys. He tells me to leave and never return. I won't. I am there for the long haul. All I can do is cry….what else???

  104. Your grandfather's movies were the best ever made for baby boomers and their parents. Omari, looked like he could of king himself.
    This disease is awlful, this is awareness month for Huntington's too, where you ended up with that Disease.
    My husband has just found out about HD CAS

  105. Omar Sharif, Jr. – thank you so much for telling us the story of your legendary Grandfather, Omar Sharif – it is through these stories that we understand that brilliant people can get this disease – no one is immune –

    It is the 5th leading cause of death and it is the single most under diagnosed disease. Fifty percent of those with the disease never get a formal diagnosis – of course something can be done, but we need to spend the money on the research – when we do this, we will get treatments, just like cancer did when massive amounts of money were spent because it was costing the new medicare system too much money. We will get treatments when we decide to do it.

  106. Omar Sharif an excellent Actor. I just lost my Mom in Nov.2014 after 11 plus yrs. We must end this disease. I am sorry he has Alzheimers.

  107. Sad to hear how many people all over the world have Alzheimer's and one is my dear husband. I pray that we find a cure for this disease as it is truly robbing people of their great memories.
    Very sad to read the Omar Sharif is also affected.
    We should all pray for a cure.

  108. My husband died after having Alzheimer’s for 5 years. When I look back, I realize that he had it before I recognized it and got his diagnosis.

    My current effort is caregivers- how to get them more support. How to arrange a way they can go to the classes and support groups. Many caregivers do not have the funds to hire someone to stay with “their loved one” while they attend these.

    I would like to see part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s budget include money for activities near the class/lecture area.

    I don’t negate the use of funds raised for research but surely, the caregiver needs help, too.

    • Totally agree. wish they had had some activity for Dad during support meetings~

  109. My husband suffers from alzheimer's. I have been thinking of writing a blog sharing with others my day with him. He is the love of my life, my best friend. He was diagnosed about five years ago and I am witnessing and living with the changes.
    We wear different shades of purple as often as we can. I am lucky that he is active and loves to go out every day, although his patience is diminishing. He loves to go to movies, however he wants to leave after a little over an hour, as well, he wants to leave the restaurant as soon as he has finished eating no matter if the others at the table are not finished. Let's find a cure, too many are and will be affected by this disease – both the patients and caretakers.

  110. Omar Sharif fue parte de nosotros … De nuestra época .. Admirado.. y venerado . Definitivamente esta historia ha sido chocante y conmovedora

    Mi madre esta empezando con Alzhaimer … Igualmente venerada y admirada por mi … Inteligente, líder en su época … Muy triste y devastante verla deteriorarse día a día

    Me uno a todos aportando $$ y compartiendo en mi país de adopción Puerto Rico

  111. I lost my Grandpa to this horrible disease 7/15/2007 – Just 4 days shy of his 88th Birthday1!!! My granddaughter, not yet 3 at his death kept asking if she could feed him M&M's??? I explained that Grandpa was in Heaven with Jesus!!! She would wait a few minutes and ask all over again – much like he would ask questions over and over for the past few years. The man that she fed M&M's was the only way she knew Grandpa – She and her brother Levi not yet 5 at his death would never know the amazing man that was the BEST and GREATEST GRANDPA EVER!!!!!! He was always great with all children, but also kind to his poorer neighbors giving them some of the commodities he and Grandma received because they were not over whelmed with wealth themselves. He always was rich in fun and the love he shared with his grandchildren, It was a sad thing that although we had 5 living generations the young ones would never know what a WONDERFUL man he was.

  112. Omie,
    So sorry to hear about your grandfather. My mom unfortunately was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia.
    Horrible disease and we really need to find a cure. My mom passed away in 2008 and what a terrible void in my life.

  113. Obviously we are making little impact. My husband has ALZ and I attend support groups and no one has mentioned that June was ALZ awareness month. Haven't seen anything on TV either (maybe I missed it somehow, but then others would have missed it too). And I was shocked recently to hear that Julianne Moore, who won an Oscar for Simply Alice, stated on a news show that she knew next to nothing about the disease before she did the movie. Where"s the rock?

  114. I had the honor of meeting your grandfather in NYC many years ago when he stayed at the Parker Meridien . I was so excited as he has been one of my favorite actor. Dr. Zhivago was the first movie I saw at the movie theatre as a child. The day I met him , he was exactly as I imagined him a very modest and beautiful person. I can sympathize with you as now my mother has the same disease and I see how Alzheimer has changed her. I get very frustrated . All the best to you and your grandfather. I hope that one day there will be a cure . Rosanna

  115. I, too, have lost my mom to ALZ. It took who she was and left a shell of the parent i grew up with. In the end, she couldn't move, speak, or recognize any of us. We did get that moment of lucidity just before she passed away where she spoke and recognized me (called me by name no less). But that was one moment in a thousand. My story and yours just proves that ALZ attacks anyone regardless of age, race, or background. Your grandfather was a brilliant, cultured, learned man – someone whose brain was always racing and snapping with intellect. My mom may have had only an 8th grade education, she was quick minded and the epitome of a country woman who had to figure things on her own. Both of them had a multitude of experiences, yet both disappeared into the disease that eventually claimed my mom and will, no doubt, claim your grandfather. My sincerest condolences on the loss of the person whom you knew as your grandfather and good luck and Godspeed on the journey ahead of you as you help care for him. May your road be gentle…

  116. My beautiful Mother had 21 children. She had a wonderful and clever mind. When she was younger, she was passed from grade to grade in school cause she was so bright. She learned to play the violin. With all of her children, she had great logistic skills in keeping everything and everyone in order !
    Now, we surround her and listen to her disjointed stories over and over again. But we listen, knowing she will stop soon.
    This is a terrible disease! We have to do something.

  117. Thank you Omar Sharif, Jr. for your account of your Grandfather, legendary actor Omar Sharif, and his own struggle now with this horrendous disease of Alzheimer's. As someone who was a longtime caregiver (to my Mother, who died on 9/4/13 at the age of 91), I completely understand everything that you described and feel the pain and frustration this has on both you as well as your grandfather.
    There literally is so much one could say, as you can plainly see by all the comments that have already been posted, I pray that one day a cure will be found, until then, we all need to keep informing ourselves and raising awareness at every level, local, nationally and yes, internationally that support be given to both those suffering from this disease and those who are caring for them!

  118. yes, I admit AD is a thief , it is stealing intellectual minds, it should be ended.

  119. Thank you for sharing part of your grandfather’s story. It is only when more and more of us speak out about this insideous disease that awareness will raised and a cure may be found!!

  120. Thank you so much for sharing this sad story, the fact that such a brilliant mind can succumb to this destructive disease.
    I have been surprised to discover that there is a stigma attatched to Altzeimers disease. The term "dementia" is used when
    someone of note dies, which does nothing for bringing awareness to the need for research into this awful illness.
    We need more people like Omar Sharif's Grandson. Thank You.

  121. Thank your for sharing your story. My mother just loved your grandfather. Dr, Zhivago was her favorite movie.
    She passed from Alzheimer's disease 2 years ago this month, She was 70 years old and diagnosed at 68. My dad took care of her for a year but it took such a terrible toll on him that he killed himself because he could not take the stress anymore. He had fallen into a deep depression and could not see any hope for the future . We do need to worry about the caregivers. We need to raise awareness and money. Thank you for helping. I will continue praying to God for a cure.

  122. He was a fabulous and real actor I always felt I knew him although I never met him, such a very cruel desease hope they find a cure soon its horrible

  123. I couldn't care for my mom anymore at home, between the severe osteoarthritis in both knees and Back and the Alzheimer's, I had to place her in a Nursing Home. And you should never make promises to your parents that you cannot keep. but I couldn't do it any more. She is in a very good home, 2 miles from my home ,clean, new and small. I feel so much better knowing she is safe and not falling any more, eating right and taking her meds. When I had her at home she would not eat, take her meds(she would throw then away and fight to get a shower and change cloths) this has all changed. She has no short term memory, but she is smiling now, wearing make-up, in clean cloths, goes to all activities and made friends. This is the best thing for her. But it hurts me to know that I had failed her. I survived breast cancer twice and would take my cancer back so my mom would not have Alzheimer's. My grandmother on my mothers side had this ugly disease and all I can say is that "I Hate You Alzheimer's and we will fight to Kill You"!

  124. Indeed a devasting disease, that needs urgent attention before more than half the population of the world is afflicted….

  125. Still remember Lawrence of Arabia like I saw it yesterday. Omar was such a natural actor. My grandpa had Alzheimer’s too. In the end all could he would just keep saying “care”. We think he was asking for his C-care home nurse- C-care is a professional healthcare service here in Toronto, where we live. He couldn't even recognize me or his home care nurse, Kathy. I agree with you- we need to find a cure for this deadly disease.

  126. I am 66 . I retired as a doctor 3 years ago .lately I have become terrified of having this perfidious. disease . Perhaps its already imbedded or seeded in my brain, perhaps its the general ''sluggishness'' of mind we (most of us ) developed with age .
    The symptoms I notice are forgetfulness – I do reply on diaries and alarms. to remind me of appointments .I feel this is an exaggerated from of what was part of my sometimes last attitude to appointments – these were all related to social engagements as my appointments diary on my desk kept me straight with regard to my practice .
    I do sometimes get quite flummoxed under slight stress – Airports are something of a nightmare to me . if I have to hold more than 3 things in my hands for any protracted period I will invariably lose one .
    I am sometimes made to feel a simpleton in the presence of a computer whiz kid – and even knowing that I could. have delivered this young person -by caesarean section – in my day ( and still could deliver his/ her offspring in the same manner tomorrow) I am still inclined to be overwhelmed by these masters of the universe , who do not even know how a silicon chip works .
    My world has drifted into the past . my values are old fashioned .My moral sense would be described nowadays as being ''for losers ''- my old fashioned courtesies such as queuing in an orderly manner , parking with civility , arguing with reason – these too are ''for losers '' – and I want no part of the world of the aforementioned '' whiz -masters of the universe ''

    I worry that a time may come when I am diagnosed unequivocally with the disease , and I am given a time frame. within which I will function normally and then loose my independence .
    If I arrive at that stage – whereby I become a dependant – where I am not in possession of my faculties , when my family become strangers to me , and I myself am incapable of cognitive functions -and if I am inured from experiencing true joy or remorse , or pleasure or guilt -all of the feelings and sentiments which make me what I am – if and when I arrive at such a stage I would like to make provisions for that time . This decision would involve the knowledge of my family . It would not necessarily require their approval .
    I would like to make a provision for a dignified departure , without any implications for anybody who may choose to reply to me on this forum . There would. Be NO SEQUELLAE for anyone who engages with me .
    I suppose I am really asking if other people out there share my position .

  127. Dear Omar Sharif jr., my best wishes for the great Omar, your grandfather,whom I adored so much. I met many people with the Alzheimer-sickness. It is one of my professions to take care for them. Sure, it is sad, but it has a function too. Maybe it is necessairy becaue we have to lose our consciousness to get back to our AUTHENTICITY. Rhere are many ideas why………………

    we help the ghost to heal only with love . that is important I think

  128. My mom was officially diagnosed this past spring. Although, in hind sight I believe that she has been struggling with this monster for a while. I am trying to do all that I can for her however, on our best days I feel so defeated. My biggest challenge is staying strong for her. My heart goes out to you and your grandfather Omar and the rest of your family….peace and blessings

  129. God rest his soul in heaven. He was a great actor and a gentleman. I loved him.

  130. Your granpa was a great actor and he can be so proud of you.
    Thank you for sharing,

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