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Evie’s Purpose: Alzheimer’s Disease Took Her Husband, But Not Her Spirit

Evie Vander Meer’s journey with her husband Mark was featured in the Frederick Magazine by Guy Fletcher in November 2019.

Mark Vander Meer loved to drive and on one day in 2014, amid the shock of finally learning that the source of his mental struggles for the past several years was younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, he was determined to drive home from his therapist’s office.

Our Story – Dave and Kathy Rogers

No one expects their life to be turned upside-down by a dementia diagnosis, but that is exactly what happened to us. In his prime, at only 49, my husband Dave, who is my partner in all things and the father of three, was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia. Dave worked construction and was the hardest working man I ever knew. Building on his reputation of honesty, quality and commitment, Dave developed a commercial construction company from the ground up.

Life Lessons Learned During Our Dementia Journey

by Anne Barber

On November 28, 2016, I lost my wonderful husband Ron after his (our) 10-year journey with dementia. He was 67 years old and had been diagnosed in his mid-50’s. I knew something was not “right” long before the official diagnosis, and I chalked it up to work stress! He was having trouble with directions while driving, hiring people to do chores he once enjoyed doing, his technical and math skills were diminishing, and I thought he just wanted more free time to golf!

Dear Dad Letters from Children of Those with YOD

In honor of Father’s Day, two adult children of parents affected by YOD Alzheimer’s share letters to their dads.

Dear Dad…

Michelle’s Story

By Michelle Luken

My dad was/is a hard working man who grew up in a blue collar family with four siblings. He worked his tail off to build a good life for me, my brother, sister, and our mom. He loves football, music, and the outdoors. In 2018, after several years of us noticing memory problems, anxiety, and difficulty with multi-step tasks, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 62.

A Journey Across the Country

By Devin Hursey

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s/dementia can be a devastating change in a person and their family’s life. Adjusting to new life can seem terrifying. In my experience, it was. Accepting my father’s diagnosis of young onset dementia was and still is a huge adjustment, although it’s opened opportunities I never would’ve had either.

YES Panel at University of Maryland School of Pharmacy – Medication Management for Patients Diagnosed with Young-Onset Dementias

By Karin Abma & Deb Hanna

The Young-onset Education and Support (YES) organization was invited to participate in a panel on February 22, 2023, for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy student body to address medication management and concerns for those diagnosed with young-onset dementias (diagnosed under 65 years old). The panel was hosted and moderated by Dr. Nicole Brandt, Executive Director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging, and Professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research. Panelists included four YES Board members, and a member of the YES Women’s Support Group, who were able to speak to their personal experiences.

Lewey What?

A testimonial by Linda Baumler

My husband, Robert Baumler, passed away in 2018 at the age of 63 due to complications from Lewy Body Dementia. His death was accelerated due, in part, to medication errors by physicians who do not understand the disease. Robert’s neurological symptoms began at the age of 42 and he was initially diagnosed with a cerebellar disorder. He was experiencing pain and stiffness in his legs and trouble with balance and fine motor skills. He also began having terrible nightmares where he acted out his dreams by screaming, punching, and throwing things.

What Sort Of Things Are Lost when Your Loved One Has Dementia?

Reflection by Mary Jones on the loss of her husband Bill Jones, Alzheimer’s disease with Lewy Body 

The slow loss of so much…little by little

For me, many of these were lost long before November 5, 2019:

Future memories with the love of my life

Don’t Wait to Fulfill Your Dreams

Judy Marsiglia shares her story and her journey with her husband Ron

Ron and I met and married in our early 40’s. We had many dreams and quite a long bucket list. We learned through life experiences that we needed to get started on our dreams. First, we bought a house, then Ron bought me my DREAM car, a green Jaguar. We cruised and we traveled; to Hawaii, the Caribbean, up the NE coast to Canada, up the NW Pacific coast, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and many other cities to watch the Orioles and/or Ravens play.

Audra’s Story

By Audra McShane

If you asked me 5 years ago, what are you afraid of most? My answer would be losing someone to dementia. I could not wrap my head around someone I love losing their memory and suffering through such a debilitating disease. Little did I know, my life would change drastically in the following few years.

Nelly and Her Mom

By Nelly Sandeep

If you asked me about how my life has been the last few years, many people would expect me to say that it’s been phenomenal. I got my master’s degree, had great opportunities at work, got my clinical license, married my boyfriend of 8 years, and adopted the very best dog. What some people don’t know, however…

Jim’s Story

By Joann Ogle

The winter storm of 2016, a loving husband, father, and grandfather would normally be looking forward to working storm duty for BGE. He loved meeting and working with people he never would have met, if not for doing extra work during storms of any kind. During this storm, he wanted to wait to see how it panned out before he headed to the assigned site. Very uncharacteristic of him. The next morning, he didn’t go in because the snow was too deep. Jim normally would have made every effort to get to his assigned location.