April 20, 2014

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Reporter: Allison Kropff

Changing my perspective about Alzheimer's

Thousands of Tennesseans suffer from Alzheimer's. I'm ashamed to say I didn't understand the impact of the disease, until now.

About 120,000 Tennesseans have Alzheimer's Disease. I'm ashamed to say, I really didn't understand the impact this disease has on its victims and their families. That's not to say I didn't know it is a devastating and heartbreaking disease, I just have never witnessed it take over the life of someone I'm close to.

My perspective completely changed after reading the book, "Still Alice," by Lisa Genova. I won't spoil it for you, but you get such a unique perspective on how the disease takes over a person's life and changes the lives of their family members. I had a difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that she would instantly forget people and places. It was so hard to understand that she would never come back from it. There would never be a time that she's completely cured.

The instant I finished the book I felt helpless. I felt like I needed to do something to give people and families like the characters in the book hope for the future. Everything happens for a reason. Heather Haley sent out an email inviting people to participate in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk.

I'm not a doctor, I'm not a scientist. There's not a lot I can do to stop the disease, but I can at least help on the path to get there. WVLT has a team walking this year and we'd love your help!

Here is my fundraising page for the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. Anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated!! Every little bit helps the millions of people and families that suffer from this disease.

Today I'm talking to a family that deals with this disease every day. Not only does her Mom have Alzheimer's, she helped care for her Grandmother who also suffered from it. They have participated in the Memory Walk for several years. I'm really looking forward to meeting them and telling their story. You'll get to see it next week.

I also want to hear your stories. Tell me how Alzheimer's has changed your life.

And pick up "Still Alice." You won't be able to put it down.

Thank you so much for your help!

Allison

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