Blue: I have Alzheimer’s.
Purple: I have lost someone to Alzheimer’s disease.
Yellow: I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.
Orange: I support the cause and a vision of a world. without Alzheimer’s.
Romantic-suspense author Sharleen Scott is taking a brief detour from her CAUGHT series with the release of Tangles, a novel dedicated to her mother-in-law, Judy Scott, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about Sharleen and her books at her website.
Why I wrote Tangles
Take a moment to form a mental picture. In this picture, imagine your family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. Now for the hard reality: Someone in your mental snapshot has Alzheimer’s disease, will have it, or knows someone who does. Over five million Americans are afflicted with this mind-robbing disease right now, and that number will increase as the boomer generation ages.
Facts from the Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia, but it isn’t a normal part of aging. There is no current cure. Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. To date, there are no survivors.
A Reason to Hope?
I recently attended the “Reason to Hope” breakfast, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association in my hometown, knowing the above facts. My family lost a loved one to this disease, and we know the feeling of hopelessness. But the name of the event intrigued me, and I went in search of a reason to hope.
The presentations were as expected. Videos of victims’ families relayed familiar pleas: this disease is fatal and a cure must be found. Families, activists, and Association volunteers told their stories of how this disease is personal to them, and that their goal is to someday have at least one survivor.
As I listened, I realized the reason to hope is in the research. The Alzheimer’s Association has a program called TrialMatch, which provides access to promising clinical studies being conducted across the country. Alzheimer’s patients today are getting involved in these vital studies to help find a cure for this devastating disease.
Research has also brought hope to families where early-onset Alzheimer’s is almost a certainty. Treatments are being tested on family members who test positive for the disease before symptoms even begin.
There are caregiver support groups to help those experiencing a heavy physical, emotional, and financial toll. Information gives caregivers hope.
What I’m doing to help
I’m forming a walk group, Team Tangles, and am participating in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 19 in Yakima, Washington. I encourage you to join the fight either by joining a walk team (mine, if you are in the northwest) or donating to a team member. Visit www.alz.org for more information.
Together, we can make a difference.
Sharleen's Alzheimer’s Walk team page.
Can tragedy mend a wounded family?
While faced with the challenge of his mother’s escalating Alzheimer’s disease, Logan McKinnon discovers secret journals that leave him questioning everything he knows about his family. With no one left to ask, Logan must find a man mentioned in the journals to discover a truth he may not want to know.