Barb’s Buzz – Walk… to End Alzheimer’s

I am a 66 year old woman living with Alzheimer’s disease I was diagnosed at the age of 65. Even though my Mother, Grandmother, Aunt and Great Aunts had the disease, I would sigh and makes excuses for what I called forgetfulness.

Do you want to know why?

It’s because there is an embarrassing stigma attached to one’s announcement of this disease.  People often pity the person with the disease, accept their forgetfulness, and just correct the person’s errors. It’s just plain, difficult to live with.

After some personal soul searching I decided that it is best to be honest and admit that I have the disease. I take my meds. Do my daily chores. Exercise and rest. Tend to my plants and flowers. Do the laundry. Clean the house and pull weeds.

I am still able to write a weekly column for the Kettle Moraine Index, blog, cook, read a book, watch a TV program, sit for my grandchildren, attend a weekly Bible study, visit with my mother-in-law at the nursing home, entertain family and friends with my husband, converse with friends and family.

I find that it is best to let friends and family know what you are living with.

And it’s o.k. to admit that you I need help.  I am very fortunate to have the support and understanding of my loving husband, family, friends and neighbors.

The best thing that has come out of this for my husband and I has been the help and support of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Our support group called “The Memory Makers” has been a wonderful experience. We have met and made a caring group of friends. It encompasses individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their spouses.

This year, “The Memory Makers” will be walking together as a team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Milwaukee County. Family and friends are joining us. There is strength in numbers. You are also welcome to join our team.  And if you can’t walk, consider supporting our team effort through a donation. Together, we will raise awareness to help support the programs and funding for research with the hope upon hope upon hope to find a cure.  Please support us at

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~ Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early stage Alzheimer’s disease~

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