Debra’s Perspective – The Omaha Walk

Mike is a marvel. He goes out and talks and talks about his life with Alzheimer’s. I hear so many people talk about how brave he is, and I agree. I have also heard many people when hearing of Mike’s Alzheimer’s being very sympathetic towards his lot in life. “I am SO sorry to hear that diagnosis. Wow, that’s bad…” I absolutely understand both reactions. However, I come towards Mike’s diagnosis with a little bit of a curve thrown in. I am thankful for an early diagnosis.

1 in 9 Americans over 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease. Women get a double whammy. 60% of us are going to be the care givers on top of the fact that 1 in 6 women will get Alzheimer’s themselves. With this many people affected by a disease that scares us so badly we need to be pro-active and find some answers. And I mean we need to be pro-active NOW!

Dr. Ronald C. Petersen is one of the top researchers in the world of Alzheimer’s. He had been at Mayo Clinic for many years and now travels the globe to inform doctors on how to treat people with the disease. Mike was able to spend some time with him not long ago. Warm fuzzies all around with this doctor. He has only compassion and empathy for those he tries to help.

Research is the name of the game. Early diagnosis is the name of the game. These two things go hand-in-glove as far as I’m concerned. Dr. Petersen is all about research and early diagnosis. So, let’s jump in and get started.

Because Mike was able to get an early diagnosis he has improved his quality of life. We’ve changed our diets. He’s changed his exercise program. He has worked hard to get quality sleep every night. He has added large doses of DHA and green tea extract. He is still able to work puzzles and does so daily. He keeps working his brain. Why?

Well, because research is showing that we may not be as close to a cure as we would like but we are coming to an understanding on how we can live a longer quality of life with this disease. And believe me when I tell you we work each piece of this crazy puzzle!

Think about it like this….we know what we need to do to have a healthy heart. Of course we know this…kind of old news, right? Well, think about what a healthy brain diet can do for your brain. Think about all the things you can do for your heart. There is some cross over going on with this train of thought. I am not a doctor so I don’t know all the science that goes into the build up of plaque and tangles. But I do know that research is vital.

Please give some thought to your life and to the life of your loved ones. Chances are you will be affected with this disease. Give some thought to donating an amount to the cause. Personally, I would love to find a cure. But realistically I want more that I can do to help Mike with this disease. And research will help us with every new development we see as Mike’s disease moves ahead.

If you’ve stuck with me this long and you’re at the end of this post with me? I thank you! You are a good relative or friend. Your friendship means the world to us. So many of you are our best cheerleaders. I especially think about Mike’s mom who recently died. She was Mike’s biggest cheerleader. She is sorely missed. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your best wishes! We love you all!

Fight for Five is Walking to End Alzheimer’s. Donate today and help us reach our goal.

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