Lately, I have found myself becoming more vocal about Alzheiemer’s Disease. In 2013, I wrote a blog post about my mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s and briefly discussed how I was dealing with the loss of my mom. Yes, my mother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. That was the last post I wrote publicly about my mom and Alzheimer’s because grief had its own agenda. And speaking about the very disease that claimed my mother’s life was not part of the agenda. But now, less than two years later I can no longer remain silent.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease. Just in case you are not aware, Alzheimer’s Disease is an “irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living.” Simply put, Alzheimer’s Disease wipes out your memory and everything and everyone that was near and dear to you are forgotten! Don’t think it could happen to you… Think again. It is a very unfortunate reality that impacts millions. The worst part about Alzheimer’s is there is no cure. Sure, there are some medications that are given to patients to help “slow down” the process. And although it may temporarily slow down the process, the person you know is slowing emerging into a person who you no longer recognize.
You can make a difference and help bring awareness to this disease. Each time you talk about Alzheimer’s, you help bring awareness and “inspire action.” Actress Julianne Moore’s recent Oscar win for the movie “Still Alice” has certainly helped increase awareness. And although I couldn’t watch the movie, I’m grateful that it got recognition and a platform to show the world that Alzheimer’s is real and closer to home than we’d like to admit.
Let us all take the time to help those who are Fighting to Remember – and essentially, that is all of us. Memories – good, bad or indifferent are worth cherishing. Those childhood memories, memories of your children, college days or even that last relationship that saddened your heart… They are your memories and the fact that you remember is a blessing that none of us should take for granted.
We are all Fighting to Remember!