Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of Americans every day. And, it hits close to home for one of our own here at WOWK-TV. Our news director and her family are learning to find hope through the heartbreak of this crippling condition.
Grendel Levy and her family are far too familiar with a disease that makes its victims feel more distant by the day. First with her grandmother. Now with her father ..
“He quit talking, he can’t make it through a sentence anymore, none of what he says makes sense, he tries to find the words but they won’t come out,” exclaimed Levy, “I’m pretty sure there are times when he is not lucid enough to know who any of us are.”
Her son has watched his grandfather slowly slip away.
“You don’t lose them all at once,” Randy Brockmann added. “It’s not they’re here one day and gone the next. It’s one piece at a time. You have to say goodbye to one part of them every day.”
After watching a man who once ran marathons struggle with walking down the hall, they got the diagnosis they feared.
“He had an MRI and we got the results just before his 70th birthday that he has Lewy Body dementia (LBD),” said Levy.
LBD affects every aspect of a person, their mood, the way they think, and the way they move.
The only other form of degenerative dementia that is more common than LBD is Alzheimer’s disease.
“Even though you come to terms with it, there’s always that little glimmer of hope that it’s not what you think,” said Levy.
Her mother now helps her husband with physical therapy while her young daughters learn to embrace their new normal. And, they’ve all learned to appreciate every moment they have with him.
“They jump up and take care of him and if we are out some place they will explain to him what’s going on and try to nurture him,” Levy said.
But it’s for herself and her children that she supports the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I want something to end this suffering,” Levy exclaimed. “I don’t want the next generation to go through it.”
This will be her seventh year participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Every year she hopes researchers will return hope to the millions who are having their present and their futures stolen.
“I feel like this disease dementia as a whole no matter what the form is a thief,” Levy added. “It robs you of who you were and of your dignity. And the only way we can stop that is if we fund research to help find a cure.”
Our 13 news team will be lacing up our running shoes for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this weekend in the capital city.
Join us this Saturday at Appalachian Power Park. Registration is at The walk begins at .