Dan and I recently attended the 28th Annual Wisconsin Network Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. It took place at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. We joined several other members of the Early-Stage group and their spouses for the two day conference. It was rewarding to be there as advocates for the cause. We do have fun together sharing, joking, hugging, complaining, questioning, crying, laughing, and hoping for a cure.
On the first evening of the conference, I was presented with the 2014 Courage Award. I was very honored and grateful to be the recipient of this award. There are many people that are brave, and are facing and living with this reality of change in what was once was a normal life – before Alzheimer’s.
On Day two of the conference, members of our Early- Stage Alzheimer’s group were also invited to speak as a panel during an educational break-out session at the conference. We spoke about our reactions after receiving the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, as well as accepting life changes in living with Alzheimer’s.
Our sharing of stories and answering questions went very well. We spoke honestly, and emotionally from the heart. I talked about getting lost one day while driving, and having to make the tough decision to give up driving and sell my beautiful car. At the end of the 1 ½ hour dialogue, we received a standing ovation and a round of applause. I smiled at some of the men in our group who were asked to sign their autographs on programs. In addition to myself and husband, Dan, the panel included John and Peggy Brandt., Mike and Julie Grassel, and Harlan and Gail Mueller.
Barb Johnson accompanied by her husband Dan, proudly received the 2014 Courage Award on May 18th at the Wisconsin Network Conference on Alzheimer’s disease and related Dementias.