My paternal grandfather had Alzheimer’s when I was younger, so I’ve been afraid of my father getting Alzheimer’s since I was about 7. It seems like the fear of losing memories has always been there. Any effort to preserve memories of moments with loved ones or improve quality of life while people live with this disease seems worthwhile to me.
My grandfather, Joseph Calbreath, had seven children and my father was the youngest. He served in the military for a good portion of his life and was later a mechanic in his native Northern California. Grandpa Joe was an exceptionally kind and hardworking person, which I remember through the way he treated my Grandma Marian and the rest of our rather large family. I truly wish I could hang on to more detailed memories, but now both he and my grandmother live on through the stories told and lives lived by their family members.
I was connected to Alzheimer’s LA through my engagement with the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s (known as YMAA). YMAA provided me with a very specific space as a young person wanting to participate in the movement to cure Alzheimer’s and address other needs in our society related to Alzheimer’s, such as caregiving.