J O A N N   K R O N E R   

On Oct. 17, 2012, I said my final goodbye to my mom, Mary. One year after my mom's passing, my mother-in-law began exhibiting signs of short-term memory loss. On June 12, 2016, we said our final goodbye to Letty.

These women were from diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds -- personal experience that Alzheimer's does not discriminate. I admired these women for their character; they faced personal tragedy with strength, spirit and a sense of humor. I learned so much about them, countless life lessons. Most importantly, through example they taught me about the importance of family. I miss them so.

About the time of my mom's diagnosis, my godmother sent me a prayer card. This exemplifies what became of these women and millions of others. What happens to all involved is heartbreaking:

“I feel confused beyond your concept, I can’t help the way I’m acting, can’t be different though I try. Please don't fail to stand by me. Love me until my life is done.”

Joann Kroner