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The Journey Together

Alzheimer's Love Story

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 Eileen Aparicio says "It's confusing for him more than it was 6 months ago."

As couples everywhere celebrate Valentine's Day and true love, this group definitely knows and lives their vows of for better or worse.  Unfortunate circumstances brought them together.

We first talked with them back in September. They are part of "The New Faces of Alzheimer's." A group for both the patient and their spouse, most of them in the early stages.

Kathleen Root says "You work in the ICU's and then to just have it go away"

At just 58-years-old Kathleen had to suddenly give up her passion and career of nursing after recently being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  

Bob Root, Kathleen's husband says "It's so early that I don't have the same experiences these people do, but I worry about the future, I do."

That sentiment is shared by others in the group, who worry the road ahead...about becoming a complete stranger to the person they vowed to love, cherish, and spend the rest of their life with.
 
Eileen Aparicio says "For sure, I think we think about it more than we had, we just figured we'd always be together, always be in love, and now I realize he might not always remember me."  

Al's condition has progressed more than the others in the room.

Cola Harris says "We are just trying to deal with one day at a time.  Because if I look at the big picture, I get overwhelmed."

That can easily be.  Just ask some of those in the early stages how much they depend on their spouse.  

Peggy Pate says "My husband is my rock, we've become closer, I depend on him greatly."

Randy Freer says "I depend on her more than I realize I think."

As these Alzheimer's patients brace for the future, they not only worry about what's down the road for them, but just as importantly what this means for their spouse. Something that's just as painful for them to think about.
 
Henry Harris, patient says "She is my wife and she is my girl, but with my disease I have I don't want to burden her."

A burden or bump in the road, that's all part of their lifelong journey together.
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