I'm not a doctor, nurse or licensed social worker. What I know, I know from experience. My mother was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's at about my current age - early 50's. She passed in 1999 at the age of 64, but we truly lost her long before that. Alzheimer's disease is a painfully long goodbye. Several years after her passing, my father was diagnosed with vascular dementia, a result of diabetes and years of uncontrolled high blood pressure. I cannot tell you how many times I called the 24/7 Helpline of the Alzheimer's Association over the years, mostly in crisis mode, but each time I was guided in the right direction. There were always so many questions. After the company I worked at for 25 years shut their doors in 2009, I decided to take a sabbatical for several months. That is, until I saw the advertisement for a position with the Alzheimer's Association in their Development Department. My qualifications as a Customer Service Manager and experience as a fundraising volunteer with local Ronald McDonald House afforded me the chance to give back to the charity that was so very important to my family during our darkest hour. I come to work each day with the mind-set of using my talents to help make a difference in the lives of others, because I do know from experience how difficult the journey can be. Not many aspire to be on the unemployment line, but that is my personal goal, because it would mean a cure has been found! Until then, I will do my best to raise both awareness and funds for programs and services provided to our families free of charge and research. For more information on the Alzheimer's Association visit www.alz.org or contact 800-272-3900.
I’m a Patient Leader