Why I want to defeat Alzheimer’s disease

Today is Alzheimer’s Action Day. I started The Memories Project back in January as a way to deal with my grief at the loss of my father, who died five days before Christmas 2011. In fact, I was relieved that Dad had finally escaped the evil grip of Alzheimer’s. Because there is no cure or effective treatment for this disease, death is the only way to escape.

Even though Dad was just an average guy, I didn’t want his struggle to go unheard. Since starting this blog, I’ve met (virtually) so many others who are going through similar situations with their loved ones. It is both tragic and inspiring to know there are so many family caregivers out there that sacrifice so much.

The last photo of Dad and I together, July 2011.

We all have so much to share, and blogging is a great way to vent our frustrations, educate others and honor our love for our family members struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

I now find myself being a caregiver for my mother, who is battling colon cancer. Observing the differences between my mom and dad as they struggle with their diseases is enlightening. Even though colon cancer is very serious, Mom, because she still has her mental faculties, has made great strides in recovering. With my dad, Alzheimer’s robbed him of any chance he would have had of recovering from his physical maladies.

I hope that in the near future, Alzheimer’s becomes at least a more manageable disease. I’m an Alzheimer’s advocate not only for the memory of my father, but also with the knowledge that if we don’t make great strides in Alzheimer’s research soon, we will have a major global health crisis to deal with.

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