Dear Researchers: A Message from Vincent

Mama and Vincent

Mama and Vincent

Dear Researchers,

I don’t know when I became fully aware of it, but at some point, I became Mama’s caregiver. It’s not a role I would’ve chosen, by any means. I do not have pets, children or anything else that could make my life more chaotic… that’s always been my choice. But something changed when I felt I no longer had that choice or freedom – it’s called Alzheimer’s.

Ten years ago, I was in the social worker’s office checking in Mama’s clothes and labeling them to admit her into a nursing home. I was an emotional wreck fighting back the tears – my mother was NEVER going to live in a nursing home. The social worker told me that my mother made a remarkable recovery from her major surgery and may appear to be fine, BUT she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s! Back then not much was known about this awful disease… it was what it was and my life has never been the same since that day.

I’m very optimistic with the positive research being done that brings a greater visibility to Alzheimer’s. The research seems very promising with the trial studies & new drugs becoming available. It’s a relief to know that there may be a cure for Alzheimer’s in the near future. It would be great to see this debilitating disease (which is devastating to the patient, the family and all those around) have a cure soon. I’m looking forward to the day when it will not affect anyone else and hopeful to see it happen in my lifetime. Is it realistic to be as positive as I am that a cure will be found for Alzheimer’s in the near future? Has the actual cause of Alzheimer’s been determined, specifically genetic, diet or other factors?

Research in Alzheimer’s is extremely important because as I mentioned it not only destroys the person suffering from the disease but all those around… the caregivers, the family, the community. I can speak for many friends, family, extended families & associates that we’re immensely grateful for the continued research & it’s progress. So thank you all for your hard work & positive nonstop dedication to ending Alzheimer’s.

Sincerely,

Vincent Zappacosta
http://www.dementia-mama-drama.com/

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4 Responses

  1. Vincent Zappacosta and his partner Douglass Christensen cared for Vinnie’s mother with grace, devotion and lots of good humor. His eloquent letter hardly touches the surface of all he did for her.

    Like Vincent, some of my family members also suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. I remember when I was very young my great aunt, my favorite beautiful and charming aunt whom I loved, first forgot where she parked her car, then forgot how to go places, then forgot how to drive, walk, talk, even get out of bed. The entire family was devastated.

    Alzheimer’s disease is a scary illness. Not many people are able to handle watching people they love turn into strangers and gradually, sometimes painfully slowly, die. Special thanks to the caregivers, doctors, nurses, and research scientists who help.

    • sandi pinky and zeppole says:

      We knew Anna and watched how lovingly her son Vin took care of her, did her hair, kept her close, kept her smiling and singing and comfortable. We loved being a very small part of the “family” and miss her very much. Here is a photo of Anna and the pups…she really enjoyed their visits.

  2. When a family member is going through something difficult that you can’t control, a natural tendency would be to be overwhelmed and possibly want to run away from it. Not so with Vin and Douglass – they put her first and were there for every important event, decision and all the everyday ups and downs that she went through. I followed Vin’s blog and was always so touched by the love and caring that they both demonstrated daily.

  1. January 26, 2015

    […] presence,├é┬ácoupled with his snappy, tender blog, “Dementia Mama Drama”, has made him a mobilizing voice for caregivers. After living the real drama, Vin and Doug’s theater light bulbs went on and they said, […]

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