Amanda Gordon Schreiber
Approximately 10 years ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease/Dementia. It was a heartbreaking process, watching her noticeable displeasure with those closest to her, her struggle to properly accomplish daily tasks, and finally her inability to remember me and the other members of my family. Despite the difficulty, however, to some degree it seemed natural – after all, she was “old” and such things are expected at an advancing age.
More recently, my father’s wife was diagnosed with the disease. But unlike with my grandmother, this situation didn’t feel “natural” at all. My father’s wife was in her early 60’s and had just retired. When she should have been most enjoying life her mind was quickly and noticeably eroding. Since that time, I’ve watched an otherwise kind and pleasurable person become more and more angry, clearly frustrated and discouraged by the symptoms of the disease. Although the physical limitations she now experiences prove challenging, her mental awareness of the change has been the most difficult part to watch: she deserves better of her “golden years.”
I’m honored to have been selected as a Women’s Champion, joining the ranks of inspirational women who have dedicated themselves to the fight against Alzheimer’s. I want to raise awareness of the disease and funding for its research not just for those, like my family members, that suffer from it today, but for my generation and the generations to come. People of all ages can and should take an interest in this battle.