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Your Alzheimer Story

Paige, mother diagnosed with dementia at age 52

My mom is terminally ill. She is getting into the later stages of Dementia. My mother was diagnosed in May of 2011-around 4 years and 2 months ago at just 52 years old. Her name is Carla and she is 56 years old. Yesterday, July 13, 2015, we had to move my mother into a nursing home. Growing up I was lucky to have a mom that was my best friend. She took me everywhere and taught me everything. She would always take me and her for drives and we’d go do things—everything from going out to eat Mexican food (our favorite), going to the library or park, going shopping, getting our nails and hair done, to even watching Roseanne together (still our favorite show). She was a wonderful and fun mother. I was just 18 at the time (I am now 22), and one day my mom and I decided to go for a drive to the store, just a couple of blocks from our house. We were lucky to make it just that few blocks back alive… She was pulling out of the parking lot of the store, and proceeded to pull right out into the road in front of a fire truck. I yelled “STOP!” then she immediately backed up into the car behind her. Then, when the driver of the car she hit gets out to see if we’re okay (luckily there was no damage to either cars, and no one was hurt) she starts yelling at me and putting the blame on me, in front of the other driver. I thought “Something is wrong.. This is not my mom.” Soon after the incident, she went to a neurologist and that is when it was discovered that she had Dementia. It’s a hard site seeing my mom change from the funny, independent and vibrant mom who was always on the go and always there for everyone, into someone who cannot care for herself and just sits in her chair and weeps all day. There are times that I still see my mom for who she is though–when she laughs, when she calls me her baby, when she is strong willed to get something done-even if it takes her longer than it used to. But the truth is, this illness has taken over my mother. Like a thief, it has stolen her mind and her identity. It’s hard when she is the one person I want to go to. I wish she could be there when I have a tough day, when I need marriage advice, or when I just need someone to talk to about life. I wish she could be there to help me raise a baby when that time comes and to give me guidance on how to be such a wonderful mother like she was. I want her to watch me grow… I want her to be proud of me. But most of all, I want her to be happy. Most days I want to cry. Most days I want to scream. Most days I don’t want to talk about it. But today I do, because I am tired of it… We need to find a cure for this illness. There needs to be more resources out there for those suffering with this devastating disease, as well as their loved ones. Because most of the time, we feel like we’re all alone. We feel like there is no chance or hope for those that struggle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Every day we feel like things are just going to get worse, because most days they do. But I’m tired of feeling that way. I know that my mom will probably never get better. But I can hope that one day there is a cure so that someone else doesn’t have to watch their parent or loved one slowly fade away from this heartbreaking illness. We can be their voice when they don’t have one. We can remember them when they have been forgotten. We can live on to tell the stories of these beautiful and unique people whose lives were stolen by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I would like to thank Seth Rogen, his wife Lauren, and everyone who is apart of the Hilarity for Charity foundation. Thank you for being a voice of the younger generation and spreading awareness to people young and old about this devastating illness that unfortunately does not get the attention, funding, or awareness it deserves.