by Paula Neal Mooney
I'll admit it, I didn't have much of an emotional grasp on Alzheimer's disease and how it can affect the afflicted person and the ones that love them until I saw the results of it on TV.
Whether in interviews with family members who describe the horror of having to tell someone with Alzheimer's afresh that a loved one they keep asking for has died -- and having that person experience the grief afresh each time -- or portrayed in movies or film, I'm starting to get an inkling of the hell it must be to live with Alzheimer's disease.
The film that solidified it somewhat sweetly for me was The Notebook, wherein Gena Rowland's character had the forethought to write down the love-of-her-life story in (what else?) a notebook, and made her husband promise to read it to her all the time when she could no longer remember it.
Chiefly, Grey's Anatomy did an excellent job of touching the pain of a daughter struggling with a brilliant mom frustrated by the ravages of Alzheimer's.
But these are all fiction, of course.
In real life, the Alzheimer's Association knows first hand what sufferers endure, and they are working hard at raising money to cure this heartbreaking condition by holding a nationwide Alzheimer's Memory Walk.
They are encouraging folks to sign up early (they have online sign up) and even become a Team Captain if they so desire.
I plopped in my zip code and found four different walks in my area, all with varying start and end times, so check your own local area if you're interested.
They have a video up about the Alzheimer's Memory Walk, stating that every 72 seconds someone develops the dreaded disease, and that 5 million people suffer from it.
Hopefully with the hard work done to raise funds and encourage others, this number will decrease drastically.