Letter: Walking together to end Alzheimer's

To the Editor:

As I still subscribe to your paper, I read with interest your recent article about the gentleman who had Alzheimer’s. As many know in Shelton, it’s been over a year now that we moved to be closer to family as my husband, Joe, has been afflicted with this insidious disease. He was very active in the Shelton community, as I, and the course of this disease has changed our lives forever.

September 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day and November is Alzheimer’s Awareness month.

Last year my family volunteered and raised money for the Alzheimer’s organization by participating in a walk in Worcester Mass. We were overwhelmed by the support financially and the friends, family, and colleagues of ours who came to participate and walk with us. On September 23, 2018  we are walking again for my husband, our friend, our dad, our grandfather, uncle, brother, son. Papa Joe or ‘Big Guy’ as he’s most well-known.

Again, this year the support has been overwhelming and I would like to say a big ‘thank you,’ especially to all our friends in Shelton who have contributed. While our journey may seem short in terms of numbers of months and years, it feels quite long. Joe has seen numerous doctors, completed many MRIs, pet scans and spinal taps and has provided vials upon vials of blood work.

The Alzheimer’s organization has been a wonderful resource for our family and I would encourage anyone dealing with this dreaded disease to please reach out to them. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death and is expected to increase 123% by 2050. Every 65 seconds someone develops this disease while 2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer’s are woman. Some recent pieces of important bipartisan legislation has been passed not only here in Massachusetts, but Congress has passed over 425 billion in new funding to help with research. They recognize this is becoming a crisis in America and there is no cure or way to slow the progression. I won’t even go into the financial impact on the family it can have.

As caregivers and friends we all are well aware of the long minutes that can turn into long hours, into long days, weeks and months. We’ve all seen firsthand what this disease does to an individual and their family unit.

Today we’re here walking for him, but we’re walking for you too. Your families. husbands, fathers, sons and more. Participating in this walk and volunteering on the planning committee has allowed our family to do our own small part in helping to raise awareness and provide support for those affected by this horrible disease. I hope you will join us.

Only together — and by combining our efforts — can we take our first steps in the right direction.

Click here for Arlene Liscinsky's Walk to End Alzheimer's Page 
Arlene Liscinsky, former Shelton Board of Education member