Diane and Jen's Story
In this video, Diane and Jen share their personal experience watching their grandmother fall victim to Alzheimer's disease. With little to no new memories since being afflicted, their grandmother is unable to remember her own great grandchildren. For these two women, the effects of this disease on an entire family are all too familiar, and the need for a cure is imperative.
Kyla loved her great grandmother dearly and was by her side through a long, painful battle with Alzheimer's disease. Sadly, many other women in Kyla's family also fell victim to the disease. Because of this experience and Kyla's compassion for others, she recognized the need for support, resources and information for other families affected by this terrible disease. Watch as she shares her story and explains why she joined the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry.
Joy saw firsthand how Alzheimer’s affected the health and quality of life for both her parents
Joy Johnston, 38, grew up as an only child with her two loving parents. But she didn’t realize how quickly the roles would be reversed as Alzheimer’s robbed her father’s mind.
Joy watched her father suffer for four long years with dementia. Living in Atlanta, she would make frequent trips back to New Mexico where her parents lived. As her father succumbed to the disease, Joy’s mother then became ill with colon cancer. “I wish I could have been there more for my mom, as the stress of being a full-time caregiver can take its toll,” said Joy. “I decided to do things differently, so I quit my job to take care of my mother – it was my duty to give back to my parents who had done so much for me.”
Joy joined the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry because she experienced the impact Alzheimer’s has on caregivers and loved ones who suffer significant stress throughout the ordeal. Join Joy as she takes a stand against Alzheimer’s.
Dawn lost her husband to Alzheimer’s and doesn’t want her sons to have the same fate
Dawn Revere, 52, shared a deep love with her husband. As they both looked forward to their golden years of retirement, Dawn couldn’t help but notice little things about her husband’s behavior which didn’t make sense. His driving habits became erratic as he tried to make left-hand turns from the middle lane.
As she read up on what could be the culprit of her husband’s behavior, everything pointed to early-onset Alzheimer’s. After he admitted his troubles with keeping things straight at work, Dawn made an appointment with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and walked out in shock as she learned her husband indeed had early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Only 50 years old, he looked too young to have the dreaded disease. “This experience caused me to be an emotional wreck, but I knew I couldn’t fall apart,” Dawn said. “I was his rock. I did everything I could to protect him and give him the best care possible.” She quit her job to spend as much quality time with him as possible in the face of his rapid decline that spanned four years. He died June 17, 2013 – four years to the day he was diagnosed.
Her sons, 28 and 31, saw firsthand their father become a shell of his former self. But they tried to assist Dawn in any way possible to help him be comfortable as his quality of life deteriorated.
Dawn joined the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry because she’s experienced the enormous toll the disease takes on families and can’t bear the thought of one of her sons developing this disease in the future. Join Dawn now to be part of the movement end Alzheimer’s.
Herman fears a family history of Alzheimer’s could affect his family and work life
Herman Martinez, 44, is a successful lawyer, but worries about the years ahead of him. His grandmother and her sisters have succumbed to Alzheimer’s. And he now sees symptoms of the disease in his mother.
Herman fears he won’t be able to juggle his career as an attorney and his duties as a father: “As I get older, I realize my career depends on my brain. If I develop Alzheimer’s, I would no longer be able to provide for my family and lead a busy law practice,” he said. “And, it pains me to think how this devastating disease will affect my children. I cannot imagine them watching me slowly lose my mind and not be able to remember life’s precious milestones like birthdays or graduations.”
However, Herman has hope in Alzheimer’s prevention research and joined the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry as an effort to do all he can to prevent this disease from affecting future generations. Join Herman as he takes action to move Alzheimer’s research forward.
Jeff fears the fate of early-onset Alzheimer’s, which claimed the life of his father
Jeff Ramage, 42, watched his father slowly descend into Alzheimer’s disease in his late 50s. His father, a former member of the Air Force, worked in horticulture after his retirement. As the disease took root, he started forgetting the name of plants and, eventually, could no longer help his customers. As a result, he was forced to quit the job he loved.
Ten years later, Jeff’s father continues to suffer from Alzheimer’s and dealing with the disease has been difficult for his family. “He doesn’t know that I’m his son because he doesn’t know what ‘son’ means,” Jeff said. “My mother has to help him get dressed and he can’t drive or talk very well anymore. He has started getting aggressive towards my mom and she is afraid she will have to put him in assisted living full time.”
Jeff has two sons, ages 10 and 7, who have only seen their grandfather with Alzheimer’s, a shell of his former self. Jeff joined the Registry because he doesn’t want his wife and kids to experience the same emotional and financial toll he’s experienced with his father if he were to develop the mind-robbing disease himself. Join Jeff and his family as he dedicates himself to Alzheimer’s prevention research.
Dianne’s family history of Alzheimer’s drove her to change her lifestyle and take a stand against this disease
Growing up, Dianne Walker, 55, watched her grandmother, mother, and mother’s siblings fall victim to Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, her brother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Once a very artistic man with exceptional computer skills, Dianne’s brother can no longer work on computers and has lost his ability to draw.
Dianne’s family history of Alzheimer’s has been a wake-up call to her. As a result of her devastation she has decided to become more proactive in her health, by exercising and getting involved in Alzheimer’s research. Overweight, Dianne worked to lose 40 pounds and found staying active helps keep her memory sharp.
Dianne also aspires to be proactive in her health care: “I have thought about getting tested for the Alzheimer’s gene and I have asked my primary care doctor to recommend me to a neurologist. I’d like to see if there is already plaque build-up- so I can plan my affairs accordingly if the prognosis isn’t good.”
Dianne will do everything she can to stop the cycle of Alzheimer’s in her family. That is why she joined the Registry, and encourages you to do the same.
Cynthia learned the true meaning of love while caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s
Cynthia Manly, 54, experienced the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s as she became her mother’s full-time caregiver. Her mother, a retired science teacher, began showing signs of Alzheimer’s when she started neglecting her weekly routine. She forgot to go to choir practice and began isolating herself from friends and family. An outgoing and active woman, Cynthia’s mother would spend hours sitting in her kitchen and wouldn’t admit anything was wrong. Cynthia knew otherwise.
“It was hard to see someone who was so strong and capable completely change in the face of this disease,” said Cynthia. “However, being a caregiver for my mom really taught me the true meaning of love. Taking care of her and being her advocate and daughter at the same time really showed me what love is all about.”
Cynthia and her two older brothers are afraid they could face a similar diagnosis, so they are doing everything they can to help advance Alzheimer’s research and plan for their future. Cynthia joined the Registry to fight against a disease the robbed her mom of everything she knew and loved. Help Cynthia in the fight to end Alzheimer’s now.