Alzheimer's disease entered my world when my father was succumbing to dementia, and at the same time, my dear mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I watched as both disintegrated into the trenches of this heartbreaking illness, and I lost two people I loved most in the world.
My dad and I had always been close, and my mother-in-law was much more a mother to me than my own. I knew I was not alone in feeling incredibly helpless, among other things.
Late last year, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 65 years old. His wife, my sister-in-law, plunged into despair, as she had taken care of my mother-in-law and was never the same. This news has been unbearable for her and has spurred me into helping whatever way I can to find a cure.
My journey has taken me to a volunteer job at the Westchester Alzheimer's Association office. I have also become involved as a walk committee volunteer and a member of the group that is developing the Westchester Memory Cafe program. My daughter has also hopped on board and is helping at the office as well.
I am also thrilled that I can combine my work as a musician with my Alzheimer's volunteer work. There is a strong music component to the Memory Cafe, and I am honored to have my trio play there. It is also a way to honor the memory and love of music I shared with both my father and mother-in-law.