Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
These eight families are all part of the Without Warning program and chose to share their own personal stories in our documentary, Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Each related their individual struggles, their courage and love in living each day as best they could with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. Though many of their situations are different, they all share the importance of finding help and support within the community of others.
Below each family expressed how it felt to be filmed and what they hoped would come from being part of Too Soon to Forget.
Selestine and Will Crosier
Selestine diagnosed at age 50
At first, I was a little apprehensive about letting strangers into my home life and sharing this experience. I hope, though, that others will see the level of effort, responsibility, patience, understanding, empathy and love required to be a Caregiver.
Michael Halloran and his daughter Katie
Michael diagnosed at age 60
I was nervous about filming and sharing especially when it got closer and I wondered and still do, if my dad was his old self, how he would have felt about it. It’s also hard to describe what it was like to be a caregiver and live with my dad in our situation.
Most importantly, I hope that the documentary is able to bring more awareness to Alzheimer’s disease and of course younger onset Alzheimer’s. My sister, brother, and I wish that Dad was still here with us watching my brother graduate college, holding his new grandchildren and walking me down the aisle. So I REALLY hope that through that awareness and understanding we can continue to support new research that will stop this disease and help someone else’s dad with Alzheimer’s.
Scott and Donna Lehrer
Scott diagnosed at 57
Our hopes are that the Too Soon to Forget can raise awareness and help to educate Health Professionals to the fact that the illness is real!! Out here in Rural America there is a perception that it you don’t get Alzheimer’s until you are old. Scott was missed diagnosed for several years with depression and sleep apnea. Although it was difficult to share, we are glad that we did it.
Sylvia and Peter Nateras
Sylvia diagnosed at age 46
I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our story with you. We are a private family and when presented with the opportunity to share our story, well as hard as it was we couldn’t say no. We hope that it might be of some help to others. By telling our side, it is our hope that it will help bring things in a better light for those who are lost.
Tom and Mary Swenson
Tom diagnosed at age 60
The documentary “Too Soon To Forget” helped me to show and express the devastating effects Young Onset Alzheimer’s has on caregivers like me, along with the cruel, debilitating effect it had on my husband Tom. It also helped show how communities can help caregivers like me, and those with Young Onset Alzheimer’s.
By participating in this documentary, I was able to help give a voice to the thousands of family members and friends who have suffered in this journey with their loved one. It is my fervent hope that this documentary will raise awareness about Young Onset Alzheimer’s and that will in turn bring in more money and research for a cure.
Mike and Nancy Walsh
Mike diagnosed at age 60
My family and I were happy and honored to share our story for this important documentary. We feel it helps us to talk about the struggles we face in caring for Mike, as well as the moments of joy and humor, and hope that some of what we are experiencing will resonate with other families facing the same issues in this difficult journey. It is important to know that none of us are alone and that all our feelings are valid.
I hope that the impact of our documentary is one of education, acknowledgement, and a call to action for the many people unfamiliar with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and the issues that the families face in dealing with it. If each person who watches and learns from this documentary, will do one thing to reach out and help someone with this disease or someone taking care of that person, we will have succeeded in our mission.
Annette Wheat and family
Annette diagnosed at age 46
Annette hopes that by being filmed and sharing her story it will help educate people and maybe help to create more treatments for younger onset Alzheimer’s. Her family also hopes that by sharing our story, others will see the different challenges this younger age group presents. We hope the impact of this film will help others understand how to deal with these different challenges (especially with younger children in the household).
Pam and Lora Yates and their children Ella and Max
Pam diagnosed at age 55
From Pam: I think it was really helpful for me and for others because I live with this disease and it’s helpful to know other people understand that I sometimes am forgetful or ask the same question over and over. I hope that the documentary helps people to understand that this disease can afflict people at a young age and it’s not just the elderly.
From Lora: It’s a very personal story and it’s hard to have it played out for all to see. But when this happened to Pam and our family, we committed to do everything we could to help change the face of this disease. Pam is not a victim of this disease. She’s not to be hidden away from society so they don’t have to see her. It’s an awful condition that she deals with daily, but she is still the same intelligent, funny & beautiful person that she’s always been. I hope that this documentary starts to bring this disease out of the shadows. People should not be ashamed if there is a diagnosis in their family. Nobody can survive this without a supportive community, nor should they have to! I hope this helps to put a face on the disease and, if it does, will ultimately help lead to a cure.
From Ella and Max: We felt like we were doing a good thing for other people who might need that help. They also want people to know they have some place to turn to for support. We hope it helps other families dealing with the same problem and teaches them how to handle it better. We want people to know that they are not alone.