My mom was 55 when she was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's disease. I was driving home when my Dad called and asked me to pull over. He told me that my mom had a doctors appointment and a brain scan. "Your mom has Alzheimer's, Spencer." my dad uttered.
My mom and family is lucky, my dad has owned and operated memory care facilities since the 70's and I was raised inside them. Fast forward to 2012, that was the last time I saw my mom. We were sitting at a table, having dinner, when my mom looked up, with tears in her eyes and asked my dad, "who is that man sitting across from us?" My dad said, "that's Spencer, your youngest son." My mom was distraught and excused herself. She came back five minutes later and acted like none of that just happened but I knew. I explained that I wanted my mom to live out her life, happy and not upset when she sees or hears me.
Since then, I've made it my mission to share her story in an effort to find a cure to this awful disease. My mom may not be the first survivor but maybe yours will. That's the reason I won't stop until something is done.
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Below is when I saw my mom for the first time since the restaurant.
Photo: Spencer Graves