Category Archives: News

National Memory Screening Week 2015

Guest Post by Jean Lee

November 1 – 7, 2015 is National Memory Screening Week, an important initiative to encourage the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. I’m delighted to share the following blog post from Jean Lee, author of the memoir Alzheimer’s Daughter. Jean and I connected on Twitter, and I’ve read and reviewed her touching memoir this year. Take it away, Jean.

Jean Lee on National Memory Screening Week 2015On my next birthday I’ll be 61 years old. Both of my parents died of Alzheimer’s. I wrote about my journey as their caregiver in Alzheimer’s Daughter. Does the thought that I might become afflicted with the disease haunt me? Yes. It niggles in the back of my mind.

I’m lucky to live in a small town and still doctor with a Marcus Welby, M.D.-type family physician. This man has treated four generations of my family; my parents, myself, my children, my grandchildren. Needless to say he knows us well.

After Mom and Dad died, I asked my trusted doctor about my risk. He answered since my parents had not been diagnosed until they were in their mid-eighties it was not really a part of my family history. He reasoned if everyone had parents who lived into their eighties, nearly everyone would have a history. This reassured me, but still the thought persists, especially when I can’t think of a word I want to use, or lose my train of thought in a conversation.

November 1-7, 2015 is National Memory Screening Week, bringing awareness to the positive aspects of screening and attempting to remove stigma. When I visit my doctor for my yearly physical, my blood pressure is noted, I’m prompted to have a mammogram, vials of blood are drawn, I’m questioned about diet, exercise and assessed for depression. All of these are types of screening. Why not routinely offer a Mini Mental to patients at age 60-65 to collect some baseline data? Comparisons could then be made as we age?

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Announcing my author website redesign!

Author Website Redesign Responsive HP ScreenshotsMy new author website redesign is finally up and running, and I’m so happy to announce this update! As an author moving forward with the publication of my first family saga novel, I decided my website needed to reflect my commitment to this endeavor. I’m pleased with the results and the professional new look and feel of my online author’s home.

Thanks to all my visitors for your patience over the last few months as I’ve tweaked and changed the website around. Sorry if all the construction has been a little confusing. With the simple navigation now in place, you should be able to locate things quickly. You’ll find some new bells and whistles too, the most important of which is an online form to download a free chapter of my novel Brought to Their Senses. There’s also a contact form if you’d like to get in touch with me and a subscription form to follow news by email about the publication of my book.

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Glen Campbell, God bless you!

Glen Campbell has earned my admiration and respect for his selfless efforts to raise awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. What a courageous man to consciously decide to share his struggles years ago when he was first diagnosed. His farewell song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” is so bittersweet, sad and beautiful at the same time. Bravo to Glen Campbell! May God bless him and his family as his final act plays out.

Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler

Happy birthday to my muse Sting!

Sting is my museSting’s birthday is today, October 2nd. Each year I take the time to offer my best wishes in thanks for the music he has shared with the world.

Happy birthday Sting!

Sting is my muse and has been since 1980 when I first heard his unique voice and music on a vinyl record (remember those?). His artistry and songwriting are the inspiration behind my own writing (since I can’t sing or play an instrument). If my novel included a soundtrack, it would play from Sting’s vast catalog of songs, and I’d like to share a special one in honor of his birthday.

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Bring on Still Alice movie!

I’ve been seeing some great publicity lately for the movie Still Alice with Julianne Moore, and I can’t wait for this movie to be released sometime in 2015! It’s the film adaptation of the book by Lisa Genova, and I think it will go a long way to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s a clip from the film:

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Still Alice will be a movie with Julianne Moore!

Still Alice will be made into a movie!Julianne Moore will star in Still Alice movieI’m thrilled to learn that “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova will make it to the big screen as a movie to help spread awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, and even more thrilled to see such a top notch actress as Julianne Moore involved with the project. This early-onset story will go a long way in educating the public that this disease is not just for the elderly and that a cure must be found.

How about you, are you excited to hear this novel will be made into a movie?

Alzheimer’s disease, it runs in the family

Like mother

Like mother . . .

I helped collect donations last Saturday at a local Walgreen’s during the Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days, the second time I’ve pitched in for this important fundraiser. This year I was pleased that my thirteen-year-old daughter Annie agreed to come along and keep me company during my shift.

Annie is old enough to know that Alzheimer’s disease runs in families,  and she has started to understand the impact of that since my mother and her grandmother died of Alzheimer’s. We had a couple of hours to talk about it while we accepted donations.

My request remained the same for every Walgreen’s customer. “Would you like to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association to help find a cure?”

“I don’t want you to get Alzheimer’s, Mom,” Annie finally confessed during a lull in the action.

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Springfield IL Walk to End Alzheimer’s September 22, 2012

1 Walk to End Alzheimers Springfield IL Sep 22 2012Many enthusiastic and passionate supporters came out on a sunny and fiercely windy morning in Southwind Park for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 22, 2012 in Springfield, Illinois. Not only was the event a fundraiser, but it was also a moving tribute to those who currently suffer from or care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

A dog shows support for the Walk to End Alzheimers Springfield IL Sep 22 2012

I volunteered to help find people who might be interested in participating in clinical research trials, and in this role was reminded how much fear is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. As I walked through the crowd and talked to attendees, I was greeted with much anxiety and heard often, “No, I don’t want to ever know if I might get Alzheimer’s disease.” This response reinforced the need to find a cure for me because people are so afraid of this devastating illness. Continue reading

Vacation, Had To Get Away!

Saugatuck, Michigan VacationAhhhh, vacation! I’ve just returned from some much needed rest and relaxation in the quaint town of Saugatuck, Michigan. Unlike previous travels, this vacation was not overly planned and turned out perfect for that very reason. Without an agenda or checklist of activities, I was free to sleep as late as I wanted and linger where I was most content. I ate at some fantastic restaurants, played card games with my family, and watched the summer Olympics too.

Over two blissful summer days, Oval Beach was the perfect spot to lounge and read under a sun umbrella to the calming sound of waves lapping the sandy shore – two books finished in five days. I am refreshed and renewed, once again ready to charge back into my personal and professional pursuits, full steam ahead!


Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days

Forget Me Not Alzheimer's diseaseI’ve just received my marching orders to participate as a volunteer in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Forget Me Not Days annual fundraiser. On Saturday, May 19, I’ll be working at a local grocery store raising awareness of Alzheimer’s while collecting donations and handing out packets of Forget-Me-Not flower seeds to plant in honor of those currently suffering from this disease. I’m looking forward to helping with this national initiative in my own small way right here in my own hometown. Maybe I’ll see you next Saturday during the Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days? If not, watch for others out there in your community and please help if you can to support those suffering from or caring for a loved one with this horrible disease.

Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler