2016 Early Stage Support Group Announcement Letter

Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter

October 26, 2015
RE: Early Stage / Younger Onset Support Group

I would like to share some very exciting news with you about a new Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group here in Omaha. Let me introduce myself before we get into the details about this great opportunity.

My name is Mike Hughbanks. I was the Chief Operating Officer at Diversified Financial Services here in Omaha. DFS is the largest independent Irrigation and Agricultural Equipment Finance Company in the United States with partnerships including Valmont and Lindsay, both well-known Nebraska manufacturing companies. As one of three Executives at DFS, my main responsibilities were Human Resources, Information Technology, Customer Service, Project Management, and General Operations. Diversified Financial, along with First National Bank, are owned by the Lauritzen Family here in Omaha.

In 2011, at the age of 54, I started noticing some memory and cognitive issues and in August of 2015 was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at 58. I am very fortunate that we caught it early. I am now on disability since I am no longer able to perform my duties at work, but I am still able to function quite well in most circumstances. After the diagnosis, my wife and I made the decision that I needed to concentrate my efforts on getting the word out about Alzheimer’s Disease. I joined forces with the local Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association as a volunteer.

In only a few short months, two local TV stations have interviewed me and my wife and broadcasted the spots on local TV and the Web. I have started a blog, Omalz.com, about my journey and have been amazed at some of the extremely sad stories. The blog has been very well read, some days I have over 400 hits. It is imperative that we continue on the path of awareness for not only those diagnosed with the disease, but also support for the caregivers.

This brings me back to the good news. One of the things that I would personally find valuable is to be able to meet with others with a similar recent diagnosis. This has proved extremely valuable in other cities and I am asking for your support and assistance. We need to get the word out to the recently diagnosed with Early Stage and Younger Onset of Alzheimer’s. Those interested can contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 402.502.4301, and speak with Diane Hendricks, LCSW, to learn more about their eligibility.

Early Stage, particularly Younger Onset Alzheimer’s disease is my passion and my goal is to do everything I can to raise awareness. This new support group is one way that, working together, we can make this opportunity available to those who need it most and at a time when they just received the worst possible news, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Thank you for your consideration.

Mike Hughbanks | Peer Outreach Volunteer | 402-657-4202

Alzheimer’s Association | 1941 South 42nd Street, Suite 205 | Omaha, NE  68105

Phone: 402.502.4301 | Fax: 402.502.7001 | 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900 | www.alz.org

 

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