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Would You Take An Early Alzheimer’s Test, Or, Saturday Morning At 10:11am

I’m out of English Breakfast tea, and putting up with Dragonwell Green. This is not a happy state of affairs. I’ve made tea and toast my breakfast for decades. The tea varietal may shift, a bit, from English Breakfast to Darjeeling to Lapsang Souchong, but it’s always black, and always taken with milk. The toast has gone through a few incarnations too, from English muffin, to Trader Joe’s whole wheat bread, and finally, La Brea Whole Grain. But the basic equation is pretty fundamental to my day.

Every sip of the bitter green tea shocks me, just a bit. And then I think, “Well, maybe it’s good?”

This morning I read an article about an early detection test for Alzheimer’s. As Time Goes By is a blog for and about people over 50, and Ronni Bennett, the editor, posted to ask her readers, “Would you want to know?”  I read the comments, wondering what my answer would be. Because that’s a pretty big deal, right? Finding out if you’re going to develop full-blown Alzheimer’s, before it happens. We all know we’re going to die, but the culture has allowed us to put that knowledge away for most of our lives, store it as a barely-detailed black and white sketch. A diagnosis of this kind of disease colors everything.

I’d go ahead, I think. I’d find out. Not for any fatalistic or dramatic reasons, putting one’s affairs in order, taking that long-dreamed of trip to Bhutan, repairing relationships. Just because I’m optimistic by nature. The voice in my mind is most often apt to say, “Well, maybe it’s good.” A test for early Alzheimer’s would mean more data, and more data would mean a more clearly mapped problem, a mapped problem offers more chance of solution.

I really don’t like my green tea, but there are many reasons it might be good I’m stuck with it, this morning. First, change. As I age I circumscribe my physical world. I sit more often in the same place. I sit more often, period. Change may keep our brains on their metaphorical toes. Second, green tea. Do you all know the research? Green tea is supposed to be good for you. I find it tastes kind of icky, but really, one morning without the milky sweetness of Organic Breakfast is probably A Good Thing.

The most compelling reason to take an early Alzheimer’s test would be the urgency added to what I already know. I know life is short. I know I should exercise more. I know I should drink green tea. But I coast, a bit, on a history of health and stamina.

Yesterday I had lunch with Colleen Wainwright, of Communicatrix. I read her blog to help me figure out how to do some things better, so we talked, in part, about doing things better. About turning 50. About realizing one can no longer power through. I brought up Leo Babauta, who has accomplished the things we all entertain. Get fit, lose addictions, become a writer and person of import. Somehow his power of intent surpasses mine. Generally I hate to be exhorted, but I listen to Mr. Babauta, because he’s the real deal.

He says, if you want change, start with one thing at a time.

I resist green tea. If I had a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s, if that explained my memory losses, if I thought green tea might help, I’d give up Organic Breakfast despite its sweetness. If I were diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s, I know I’d convince myself there is a cure. Cheerfulness does that to a person. The other day I parked on a suburban street, on my way to buy new yoga pants. When I came out of Lululemon I couldn’t remember where I’d put the car. I walked around, remembered. But I experienced a brief and disorienting moment the likes of which I do not want to repeat.

Cheerful is good. When you’re young, more often than not, uninformed cheerfulness is just fine. It’s called dreaming. And since we never know all there is to know, proceeding on a whim, or a hope, may turn out exactly as wished. Or the process of exploring whims may transform the wish – whatever you find becomes something you always wanted.

There’s a time for tilting at windmills. I’ll even saddle up your horses.

But there may also be a time when bitter had best become sweet. You summon up cheerfulness in the midst of some colder truths and press on, warm. We chipper sorts are quite capable of denying an awful lot, but I’d rather bring cheer to the full face of truth and hope it survives. In other words, aim true for full knowledge, as much cheer as one can muster, and a very mindful plan.

It’s still morning. People dear to us sleep nearby, and there’s bread on the counter. I feel breath all around, including my own. Also the refrigerator motor. It all counts. Have a wonderful weekend.

Note: I have edited this to make clear, I’m not so courageous that I’d want to know about a tragic end, only so optimistic that I’d tell myself a cure is possible.

53 Responses

  1. I’m conflicted about the early detection. I would want to do it if I knew that there was a sure fire solution but am not sure if I’d want to burden my family with the impending doom, so to speak. It’s a tough call…

  2. Have you read Lisa Genova’s book, Still Alice — a moving novel that explores these questions, very solid research base.
    My poor mother left her bag (with all her ID, luckily not her Mastercard) on SkyTrain or the bus yesterday while out with her Seniors’ Walking Group — she’s been living with Mild Cognitive Impairment for the last two years, and I’m not sure what difference a conclusive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s would make to any of us — or would have made, had we had it years ago. I worry, like you do, at every shred of evidence that my own faculties might be on their way out, but that worry won’t impel me to be tested, unless there’s some clear proactive medical reason. Otherwise, I’m just going to keep doing my best to get the most out of the life I have right now — call me an ostrich!
    And I’m going to keep drinking my Russian Caravan (smoky black) with a kick of Lapsang Souchong, brewed just right every morning . . . I’ll be the ostrich drinking my favourite tea, right over here . . .

  3. My father’s sisters ended up living to over 100 – but with the last 10 to 20 years of their lives in nursing homes with Alzheimer’s. My grandmother’s mother developed it in her 60’s and died n her 70’s.

    We also have pancreatic cancer on both side of our family (my father and my mother’s sister).I spent the years from 35 (his death) to about (45) in a hyperchondriacal mess due to it.

    However, I am in no rush to find out about either, since there is no cure and no preventative measures for either.

    I “outgrew” it when I took control of my health by having gastric bypass surgery and losing 125 pounds. I know I have no really impacted my statistics for either, but it put me in a profoundly improved quality of life both physically and psychologically.

    I think it is more fulfilling to take charge of those health issues that you can control than to burden yourself and your family with a glimpse at a devastation. (I am one of those people who do not want to know when the world will end. I did however want to know what were the 3 secrets given by the Virgin Mary at Fatima, but I’ve hijacked your comments for long enough!)

  4. Beautiful. Truly well said. Keep up that positive side of things – we are as happy as we make our minds up to be. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. I rather not take tests at this point of my life. My mother always repeated that she suffers from dementia. It was probably her way to get attention. She died at the age of 86, but not because of Alzheimer.

  6. Several issues here. First, how to live life if/as though healthy time is very limited? In a sense this could apply to any of us – people do die suddenly, whether from accidents or swift illness.

    Second – is knowledge power? I would argue – not always. When there is no effective intervention, do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? While some will resolve to make the most of healthy time left, others will find that knowledge leads to paralysis or pyschological crippling, long before the biological disease becomes evident. Some will also do themselves harm in a quest for cure. Finally, some will test negative, yet have very limited time due to some other event.

    What we do know, medically speaking: Novelty is good for developing new neural connections, which seem to be associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. One form of physical exercise seems protective – ballroom dance.

  7. I heard just yesterday on the radio that researchers may be close to a vaccine for Alzheimer’s Disease. What a wonderful advance that would be. Meanwhile, I keep drinking black, not green, tea. I have dozens of old lady relatives who lived long lives and drank lots of (black) tea. I can’t stand milk in it, though!

  8. Dear Lisa, I knew you were a kindred spirit – you are a tea drinker! English Breakfast or Irish breakfast with semi-skimmed milk is a lovely thing to have at breakfast. I find that it helps me collect my thoughts. I would do the test too – not so that it would hang over me but so that I would have the freedom of knowing rather than the fear of not knowing. Would I exchange bitter for sweet if I had to? Damn straight. Life is too precious – maybe I should start today!

  9. God! Alzheimers! the one disease that really terrifies me. I am still only in my early 40’s but I would not want to know. In the same way I would not want to know if I have the breast cancer gene. I don’t believe I can be optimistic once I know this. I would rather live in the bliss of ignorance on this ocassion.

  10. I love tea…and resist green as it tastes bitter (to me)
    Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease that has struck an elderly family member…
    it takes all our strength and patience to continue to visit several times a week…

    I would rather not know if that illness is in my future. I’ll try and live that cheerful existence that you speak of…

    BTW…don’t you just LOVE lululemon yoga gear?
    It’s so great that they opened up in the USA…apparently Target is coming to Canada too…whoo hoo!

    Putting the kettle on and brewing some Abkazi tea…

  11. I am an ISTJ through and through, and would absolutely want and need to know. If yes, so I could plan. If no, so I could…plan! But there would be no wallowing. And I would only tell my husband. Maybe my younger brothers. Not the kids or my mother.

    And I love tea, straight up, all kinds.

  12. After a lifetime of anticipating and preparing for every possible form of bad news I want no more of it. However, I did fix my Health Care Directive to make it abundantly clear what I mean by quality of life, with a special clause addressing Alzheimers. So I guess I’m as prepared as I can be.

    I do think change is a good thing, but it can be hard.

  13. My sweet grandfather (Pop) passed away this past year. As hard as it was, it was a blessing. You see, his alzheimer’s was the angry, violent kind. This, however, was not his nature in the least. It was horrible for my grandmother, my parents, all of us, but especially for him.

    For some reason, I always thought that as the person drifted away, they would stay away and not remember the awful times. This was not the case for Pop. After one of his bad times, he would come back to full consciousness and know what he had done. This caused him and my grandmother so much pain.

    I can see why it would be difficult to have the test, but to know would mean early intervention, which they believe can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. I would want to be prepared. I would want my husband and children to be prepared.

    They say knowledge is power and in this case, I really believe it to be true. In so many ways, alzheimer’s takes all of your power. The test could help you keep it just a bit longer, hopefully until someone can find a cure.


  14. Breast cancer a multi generational issue with me. Will I take the BRAC genetic test to determine if I have it? No way…nothing they can do but tell me to have surgery to remove all kinds of parts I’ve grown to like. Let sleeping dogs lie. And my poison is chicory coffee.

  15. This is such a minor point compared to the import of this post, but green tea should be steeped in water that’s not boiling. The water should be about 170 degrees (or wait about five minutes after it has boiled) It makes a huge difference in taste. The truth may be bitter, but tea needn’t be.

    I admire your insistence on cheerfulness in the midst of cold truths, as you say. I am working to summon the same.

  16. I would not want to know about Alzheimer’s, because at this point there is no intervention. I’d worry that I’d sort of “fall into it” – some predestined fog.
    I try to keep my brain active, as my own sort of prevention for Alzheimer’s or any of the numerous other types of dementia.
    I took a seminar a long time ago, and one of the topics dealt with was our reaction to change as we age; or our lessened ability to tolerate it. It was suggested to make small changes in our lives often and power through the discomfort of them – even things like turning the way a bathroom rug lays on the floor.
    It was such a small part of the seminar (don’t remember the main topic even), but it’s what I took away with me, and I do try to follow it, because I have loved the comfort of habit since I was quite young.

  17. Oh, my. I think I would want to know. I know I would want to know. Most fortunately, Alzheimer’s doesn’t run in our family (is it hereditary?). Alcoholism, obsessive-compulsiveness, the opportunity to eat whatever one wants without gaining weight, in the genes. Alzheimer’s I think not. Though it would be just my luck… Happy day, my dear friend!

  18. I have heard of cases of sudden onset of Alzheimers. A girlfriend was spending a semester in Romania with her significant other. They got up one morning and suddenly he no longer knew where he was, why they were there, etc. For others, the onset is more gradual and thus, easier to plan for.

    I suspect people half your age forget where they park! This happens to me all the time. When it does, I stand in one spot, breathe deeply, and wait…for the information to return.

  19. I find the idea of Alzheimer’s even more terrifying than Cancer. Not sure if I would want to know or not… I read an amazing book a couple of years ago called Still Alice about a woman who learns that she has the disease while she is still quite young. It is a work of fiction but reads as though it was a memoir. Written by a top Alzeimer’s researcher this book poses the same question… to find out or not?

  20. There is something compelling about prisons of our own making. I think it gives us an illusion of control. If there is a next life, and I come back in it, I would want to be a cultural anthropoligist. For now, I am committed to not seeking out the bad news.

  21. I am very late in my blog reading today, so I am just now reading your post. I still don’t know if I would do it or not. I am conflicted about this. I do think it is something I would talk over with my children beforehand. I just think I would have to share my results with them now. All of this information definitely impacts them. I am also very optimistic and hopeful. Food for Thought for sure. xoxo

  22. Lisa,

    I am one that only wants to know ways to combat the onset of Alzheimers. I have a living will which was a big step for me.

    Also believe it or not a very unique bronze Urn with a stunning patina!

    Art by Karena

  23. Oh, Lisa, what a subject you chose for today. As you know, I have had significant personal knowledge of Alzheimer’s. I think each one of us should make our final wishes known by putting everything in writing, legally. File the papers in the county records. Some day soon we will have to face the decision on when end of life comes apropros this terrible disease. Living inside your head with demons and being afraid of water, albeit being afraid of everything, having no control over your personal self is a hideous form of death while living. For me, I want to know, do what is possible to prevent, halt, slow the progress, and hope some kind human will let me slip away into eternal sleep rather than endure the humiliation of this disease. I hate tea, btw. xx’s

  24. Would you say that cheerfulness is a WASP trait? I would tend to think so, but am curious your opinion on the matter. To me, WASP-ness equates in part with making others comfortable, making life pleasant for oneself and those around us. Hence, the rules of etiquette, which guide a WASP’s life, the basis of which are to make people in our company comfortable and welcome (and never to be used to critique or judge). But, back to cheerfulness, growing up, all the mothers were always cheerful unless they had to take to their bed with a “headache” which was always the kind way of saying sad, or depressed, until they reemerged cheerful yet again. WASP-ness also means to me, being strong enough to handle any adversity as if it were nothing at all, which also requires a bit of cheerful outlook. I hope you don’t mind the midnight ramblings…it’s interesting how this post has generated various different comments.

  25. “I’d rather bring cheer to the full face of truth and hope it survives” that is a really beautiful way to express what acceptance is about – what I strive towards! Thank you, your words are always so eloquent.

  26. hoorah….I’ve been drinking green tea first thing every morning for about 20 years……fortunately I like it!!

  27. Our family may be facing some very tragic news concerning our baby grandson in the upcoming months or the next year. Right now there are a lot of unknowns. I’m the sort who wants to know–others are not.

    I am girding myself and hoping to be cheerful and helpful in the face of adversity. And you are right–at age almost 59, I’m having difficulty powering through.

  28. I just wouldn’t want to take the test, especially as I already recognize that I’m not nearly as sharp intellectually as I was when I was in my 20s and 30s.

    Now that I’ve reached middle age it makes me sad that I have to spend so much time and effort working out, not to be thin but just to maintain my sturdy gal figure. I would much rather spend the time doing an activity that challenges my brain such as learning a new language or a musical instrument. Or even taking up bridge or poker.
    I have thought for years that I might take a few night classes at the local university in mathematics, just to retrigger what I love when I was a student.
    My brain needs to be exercised too!

  29. I envy you your optimism; I doubt I could convince myself a cure was around the corner. I think small changes are good, though, and the occasional green tea won’t kill you, though I agree it’s not a nice taste. I keep it around in case I’m feeling … zen-like or something. Leo is impressive, isn’t he? But he’s not 50 something either.

  30. Ah, see, now I would want to know. In fact, I am currently living my life as if both my husband and I will most likely have it later in life.

    You see, both of his grandmother did and now his grandfather are dying of the disease. From what I have read- if both parents have the disease, a child is almost certian to have it, and indeed, my husbands mother is showing early, early signs. So…will my husband? Well, the odds are not good, no?

    On my side, my pathernal grandmother had it. While my father has not shown signs, I know there is family history there, no?

    SO…we both have recently signed up for long-term care insurance, now- before any health issues arise (such as did with my parents) that would deny it..while I realize it may not be the most sound finanical decision, there is alot of emotion involved, obiviously. Much like the decision to bank our daughters cord blood (stem cells) upon birth- hoping that while they would never need the cells, it would be there if the occasion arose.

  31. Belle – Tough it is.

    Mater – No, I haven’t read that, and I’d like to. I know you are living with this, so thank you for the perspective. Today I had black tea AND green:).

    Tabitha – I think different people have such different emotional responses. For me, as one prone to more anxiety than depression, uncertainty is always worse than knowing.

    Loretta – No hijack at all. Comments are always the best part of this blog. :). And losing 125 pounds did so much good for your health, I can imagine wanting to bask in that joy for a long time. I think because I am annoyed with myself primarily about my declining activity level, anything that will motivate me would be good.

    Stephanie – Thank you so much. I can’t take credit for the positive part, it’s genetic:). Now I am looking for ways to motivate myself for the remaining pieces I need to put in place.

  32. Mette – Sounds as though you don’t have it in your family, and that, combined with the bad feelings from your mother’s actions, probably means there’s absolutely no good reason to take the test now.

    DocP – I completely agree with you, whether to find out or not depends on one’s temperament. Were I prone to gloom I would not want to know. In my case I think it would drive good behavior. And, I have to admit, I’d never considered ballroom dancing. But it makes sense – so intricate, so neural. Thanks for the information.

    SewingLibrarian – Really? A vaccine? How wonderful.

    Linda – Kindred spirits in many ways, it seems. I’m also most afraid of what I don’t know.

    Vanessa – Sounds like your spirits are definitely kept best by not knowing. At least you know yourself.

    Hostess – I do love Lululemon. And black tea:). I’m trying to add the green tea in the mix, rather than give up the pleasure of English Breakfast and Darjeeling:).

  33. Marieanne – I think the idea of only telling one’s husband, and perhaps siblings, is exactly the road I’d take.

    Susan – “After a lifetime of anticipating and preparing for every possible form of bad news I want no more of it.” Well said. I understand.

    Lori – Oh how awful, to become enraged at the end of our days. I think your experience has given you a very practical outlook. Thank you.

    Gablesgirl – I think the most important thing is to know what’s the right choice, each of us, for ourselves.

    Dorothea – Thank you for the tea advice. You know, it’s the little things that matter. Today I had black AND green tea:). And I didn’t boil the green tea water.

    kathy – I have read the same thing, about our ability to tolerate change. I think those physical things, like moving furniture, probably have even more impact than the strictly cognitive stuff.

  34. rb – No! No! If I have added to health obsessions I apologize profoundly! Thank you for the green tea recommendation. I need all the help I can get:).

    Shari – Happy day to you too. Yes, Alzheimer’s is hereditary, if I understand it correctly. We all come with our genetic plates, don’t we:).

    Terri – Oh my gosh. That is sudden. I suppose for now I will just rely on breathing deeply and cultivate patience.

    EntertainingMom – OK, that makes two people I like recommending Still Alice. Thank you.

    Laura – Maybe I am simply looking for illusions of control, but they can be kind of fun, and with a sense of humor, provide guidance.

    Preppy 101 – I wonder if I would talk it over with my kids, or just find out and not tell them. I am so used to filtering the facts of my life in my relationship with them. Hmm. Food for thought in return. xox

  35. Paula – I will give that shot. I’m a sucker for aromas. Thanks!

    Karena – The urn is for tea or, um ashes? :).

    Marsha – Yes, you really have very close experience with this. Thank you so much for sharing. And you made me laugh, hating tea. Those little things have just as much import as the big, sometimes.

    BethAnn – Ah. Good question. Certainly WASPs prize acting cheerful, even when one isn’t. As you point out, etiquette towards others, stiff upper lip towards oneself. I don’t know if we are actually cheerful per se. In my family we have a whole spectrum, from more gloomy to preternaturally cheerful. But certainly everyone puts high value on finding one’s way forward.

    Cate – I promise. And here’s a cuppa for you:).

    SSG – I think green tea with dark chocolate might be the best possible sort of high tea.

  36. Fran – Oh thank you. It’s a question of active acceptance, right? Rather than defeated.

    Jo – Lucky gal:).

    Susan – I’m so sorry. I wish you all the best for your grandson, and for your own stamina. We aren’t what we once were, but we do have a perspective that can be helpful to the younger and stronger.

    Belle – From the comments here, I gather that certain kinds of physical activities actually ARE the best way to keep our minds nimble. Ballroom dancing. Who knew? But the brain exercises are key. I never could do math, don’t want to learn now, but I use blog writing as the best mental exercise I can find at the moment.

    Shelley – The optimism is genetic, comes with a fair amount of anxiety too, so it all balances out. I need to remember, Leo is not 50:).

    rhonda – So practical. So Sturdy:). I think my approach and feelings are similar to yours.

  37. I drink a mixture of loose green tea and yerba mate all day long. When I first gave up coffee, back in the olden days, I drank black tea for breakfast. Then years ago I switched to green, and more recently, to the green/mate blend.

    LaBrea bread is the best. I don’t want to nag, but adding a bit of fruit and cheese to that breakfast would make it way healthier. Tea and toast is not a nutritional powerhouse, even if the toast is LaBrea wholegrain.

  38. I am not sure that I would want to know or not. I struggle with memory every day already due to my head injury. I know that this small glimpse of that world is nothing in comparison. I have watched loved ones suffer with it and it pains me deeply to even think about it. But I do like your attitude about it Lisa…oh and I am a green tea lover except for the lipton which is yucky to me…lol…hope your weekend was wonderful…mine sure was!

  39. For me, it’s black tea every single morning in one of my favorite mugs. (Tea cups are for sissies and entertaining.) I have a second each afternoon around 2:00pm. Occasionally, I replace the afternoon black with a Green Chai Tea. I find that the chai spices and the splash of milk make the green less, well, greeny. Will try the boiling plus 5 minute rest method offered by Dorothea. Regarding the test, I would take it. I am a planner, a list-maker. If the condition is to come, I would definitely want the opportunity to prepare even if it meant wee moments of angst as I lived my life with added vigor and cheerfulness (yes cheerfulness!) for as long as possible.

  40. I would want to know, so I could plan ahead, but also perhaps help me “be” in the present more. Both.

    As for green tea –I love it. Yes, I find it a tad bitter at time when overboiled or if I’d put too much tea leaves… but there’s always honey. :)

  41. One: The secret to green tea is to steep three minutes, NO MORE!! I use a digital timer for this. Gen-Mai tea is wonderful, Tropical Green Tea from Mighty Leaf is my favorite.

    Two: Black tea with whole milk and a little tea sugar (raw or demerara)consumed in copious amounts. Prefer English Breakfast, Earl Grey, or Bushell’s (Australian black…Yum!!).

    Three: I am on the fence for this one. I think if there was family history AND preventative measures available, perhaps I would want to know and therefore take the test. If I had a spouse and children, then I might IF there was also family history. Otherwise, my concern would be this: if I found out that I did have Alzheimer’s in my future, would I live my life waiting for the other shoe to drop? Would I start being all about Alzheimer’s? Would I stop taking risks because, well, what would happen if “the disease” kicks in? Would I start closing myself off because this terrible thing is going to happen to me?

    I don’t know if I’ll be run over by a car tomorrow. So, in case I’m not, I’m going to try to have healthy habits today. I might be around for a while. I’m going to embrace new experiences, even if they’re a tad uncomfortable, to shake it up…keep me from becoming too complacent. I’m going to work crossword puzzles, read copiously, and play games that improve my mind’s agility. I’m going to prepare minimally for the end of my life….have directives and will in place, arrange burial preferences, have the hard conversation with the person who will execute my wishes….but I will make the living of my life the priority of my life. And if I develope Alzheimer’s, then that will be a new adventure…

  42. Glad you have tried different types of Tea. I maybe biased here – but if you get to explore – try some bio-organic Darjeeling Green Teas and you would be just amazed with not just the health benefits but the serenity it brings :)

  43. I am a faithful black tea drinker. Milk and sugar please.

    I would take the test for Alzheimer’s so I could prepare. Actually having it doesn’t scare me so much since I talked with a woman in charge of the memory wing in my grandparents’ community. She pointed out that putting the people with memory problems together works well because they forget that they all have memory problems. That gave me hope for some reason.

  44. I honestly don’t know about this. I suppose I would want to know so I could do the things I want to do and prepare. But I generally tend to be hopeful, and perhaps I would just strengthen those directives I already have in place. Having a spouse with moderate dementia reminds one of what is important in life. My spouse, who tends toward despair, is still self-aware enough on occasion that depression is also an issue.

  45. This is James here from TheDisabledShop.

    From the 1st March we are raising money for Alzheimer’s, both by donating profits and by holding a blogging competition here: . As you have already blogged about Alzheimers, I’d love you to get involved and become an official blogger!

    The competition enables you to share your experiences and knowledge about Alzheimer’s at the same time as having the chance to win great prizes (all donated for free). I have also attached an official bloggers button – we’d love you to put it on your blog!

    Do hope you will get involved! Thanks James

  46. My father’s favorite cousin has Alzheimer’s and it’s very advanced. My father is almost 89 and we see no signs of the disease in him, thank the good Lord. I am not afraid of getting this myself, but I would be devastated for my family if I did.

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