To the Editor:
The first time I realized something terrible was taking my father away from me was when he began losing his way while driving familiar streets. Looking back, the signs had likely been there for a while, but my family overlooked them. We chalked it up to normal aging.
We were wrong.
Doctors diagnosed my dad with dementia when he was 75 years old. He fought the disease for another five years — but, eventually, he lost his ability to feed, bathe and dress himself. By the time he died, my dad was a shell of the sweet, caring and strong person I’d known my entire life. And after that, our family has lost two other amazing aunts to this disease.
More than 120,000 Tennesseans are battling some form of dementia with nearly 440,000 people serving as their unpaid caregivers. That number is expected to dramatically rise over the next five years. And right now, there’s no treatment and no cure.
But alongside the Alzheimer’s Association, I’m fighting to change that.
That’s why I’m inviting you to join us at the 2019 Nashville Walk to End Alzheimer’s at 9 a.m. Oct. 26 at Nissan Stadium. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
I know someday we’ll find the first survivor of dementia, but we need Middle Tennessee’s help to get there. Register today at alz.org/walk.