The Memories Project is my tribute to my father, Patrick Johnston, who died at the age of 79 in December 2011 from Alzheimer’s complications. During the first year of this blog project, I posted daily memories of my father. My goal was to collect all of the memories and stories I remembered about my dad, preserve them and share them with others in hopes of encouraging them to document their own family history.
In subsequent years, The Memories Project has served as an advocacy tool for Alzheimer’s awareness and for increasing support for family caregivers. My mother, Jane Johnston, who passed away in May 2015 from colon cancer, is also a vital part of The Memories Project. I served as her primary caregiver after her cancer diagnosis just six months after my father’s death.
I hope The Memories Project serves as inspiration for others to gather and preserve memories and stories of their loved ones now, because you never know when it will be too late.
About Joy Johnston
Joy Johnston has been a digital journalist since 2002, and has worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, About.com, and AOL. She currently serves as a National Content Editor for Cox Media Group, where she specializes in creating viral content that drives web traffic and social engagement.
Joy also works to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, cancer, and caregiving through her blog, The Memories Project, and through essays that have appeared in digital and print formats.
In 2015, she was awarded the Rick Bragg Prize for Nonfiction for her personal essay, “Greetings from the Nursing Home.”
Joy also knows all you need to know about the gluten-free diet, diagnosed as gluten intolerant in 2005, well before it became trendy. She lives in Atlanta with her partner, along with a goofy pit bull rescue dog and two very spoiled cats.
For more on Joy, visit her website, joyjohnston.com.
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