I’ll never forget the day the neurologist at the VA hospital gave us my dad’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. To be honest, I knew enough to have made the diagnosis myself as I observed the testing. Dad flunked every one of the tasks asked of him.
Mom and I suspected Alzheimer’s but had been living solidly in denial for a couple of years. Dad’s jolly, easy-going personality had changed to insensitive. Uncooperative. Sometimes mean.
The diagnosis came years before he passed away. We lost him, though, in dribs and drabs, as he withdrew from us and from reality. But he never forgot us. He knew who we were until the end.
Alzheimer’s is one of those diseases that affects everyone a little differently, and it morphs from day to day.
Which is why I was even more deeply in denial when my mom started showing symptoms. Not the same symptoms, but something wasn’t right. Even worse, having dealt with her mother and husband’s illnesses, Mom knew. The look on her face when she started losing her words broke my heart. Her diagnosis wasn’t Alzheimer’s but a “close cousin,” vascular dementia.
She passed away almost exactly ten years after we’d lost my dad.
So, yeah, I’m passionate about the Alzheimer’s Association.
I created the character of Harry Adams, Pete’s father, to honor my dad. I’ve written and blogged in the past about how I imbued Harry with a number of Dad’s more endearing traits while leaving out or only lightly touching on the difficult stuff. I want readers to want to spend time with Harry. More rarely do I mention that I donate a portion of my royalties from the sales of Lost Legacy and now Cry Wolf to the Alzheimer’s Association. It seems awkward, maybe even disrespectful somehow to shout “buy my books” in order to raise money for my pet cause.
However, I’m participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the fourth year coming up next week, and I’m in full-blown money-raising mode. More than merely “buy my books,” I’m asking, begging, please consider donating. I’ve set a modest goal of $500, a goal, which as I write this, I’m very close to meeting, but I’d still love to see the total grow. Maybe $5 or even one dollar is all you can spare, and you don’t think it’s worth the effort. Honestly, every dollar helps, and if you contribute it on my fundraiser page, the dollars will add up and be much appreciated.
I also promise I won’t blog about this again…until next year’s Walk.
BUT if you buy Lost Legacy or Cry Wolf, you’ll also be donating indirectly. (Just had to throw that in.)
And thank you!