Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another Disease That Changed My Life

I saw this morning that HBO is going to be broadcasting a series of documentaries called "The Alzheimer's Project":

My childhood was profoundly affected by this terrible disease, and more recently, my wonderful Mother-in-law succumbed to Alzheimer's after suffering from it for several years.

Anyone who has watched a loved one be stolen from them by this insidious, progressive, cruel disease knows how vitally important it is to prevent as many people as possible from ever being touched by it.

I'm planning to watch "The Alzheimer's Project", and I recommend that everyone do the same. As we "baby boomers" age, something must be done to ensure that as many of us as possible, and those of future generations, escape this fate.

I wrote a tribute today on The Alzheimer's Project site in memory of my beloved Grandfather, who died from Alzheimer's when I was ten years old. I have added it as part of this website.

"Poppa" was my Father until I was 10, and gave me so much love and adoration. To this day I realize how lucky I am to have had the love of such a wonderful, kind, and caring man like him. It made all the difference to a little girl who would have been damaged without a male role model's love and encouragement. Alzheimer's began taking him from me, little by little, when I was 5 years old. When he died, I was absolutely devastated.
Today, I may have cancer, but I am still fully and wholly myself. Alzheimer's steals your mind and your personality from yourself and from those who love you, which I believe is even more fundamentally tragic. We must eradicate it from our future, in the same way that we have been working to eliminate cancer.

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