Where does one start? Alzheimer’s. One word, a word that didn’t exist in my vocabulary until about 7 years ago. A word that now, is in my vocabulary daily. A word that is in the news more & more. A word that doesn’t matter what age you are. A word that needs a cure. A single word ~ I hate.

My Mom, my biggest fan and best friend, has Alzheimer’s. She didn’t accept her diagnosis, in term, I’m not sure the family did either. But acceptance or not, the symptoms became more and more evident. This disease is hard. It’s even harder when you live a thousand miles away from your loved one. As is my case. Last year, events made it impossible for my Dad to handle the care giving alone, and so my Mom has been in an assisted living facility for about a year, to date. To say it’s been difficult, for all involved, is an understatement. Often, I tell people, unless you’ve experienced this disease first hand, it’s hard to put into words, the reality of watching your loved one slowly fade away. Well, it literally sucks the life out of you. My Mom is alive. But her mind isn’t, she doesn’t call, she doesn’t remember, she doesn’t do what she did. And she doesn’t know she doesn’t. And that... that just makes my insides hurt. It makes my heart hurt. I miss what she used to do.

As family members, daughters, son, husbands and wives, it’s our role to share our stories, to raise awareness so that one day a cure can be found. Steps are being taken daily, the links are being found in the brain to diet, enzymes and other factors. We have to find a cure! I want to know I had a role in finding the first Alzheimer’s survivor. We have to do this! We have to fight. We have to share. I’m fighting and sharing for my biggest fan, my Mom.

It’s up to us. We have to.

Amy Forsyth

Madison, MS

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