Finding a cure
Don, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 41, is now, at 47, honorary chairperson for the Alzheimer’s Association’s local Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which will be held on Sept. 15 at Botetourt Elementary School, and his team, Don’s Crew, is raising money for the cause.
Don had a promising career before Alzheimer’s pulled the rug out from under him. A local telecommunications company manager, he had been in charge of installing fiber optic cable throughout Hampton Roads in the first years of the 21st century. He was also a gifted musician who sang and played guitar with his church band, played in several community orchestras, and performed in musicals with the Court House Players.
“But I kept hearing him messing up his music and not singing the way he always did,” said Christy. “I knew something was wrong.”
Don started getting lost on his way to work, and sometimes when he was riding his motorcycle, he would stop at a light and forget to put his feet down.
“He would say ‘I need the thing you write with’ instead of ‘pencil’ or ‘pen,’” said Christy.