Shelley Etter | Alzheimer’s at Age 35
Jul 30, 2018 Latest post:
Sep 19, 2018
In 2013, our mother Shelley Etter was diagnosed with Sporadic Early Onset Alzheimer's in her mid 40s, roughly ten years after she contracted the disease and began showing symptoms. Because of her young age it was something our family never thought possible. After years of trying to understand what was going on, we finally got the correct diagnoses and were able to move forward. Now, in her early 50s she is at the final stage of this terminal illness.
She continues to be positive and always smiling in spite of the appalling treatment by her employer (The Prinicple Financial Group) to herself and our father, as they continue to try to force him out. Because Iowa ranks dead last in mental health programs, there is also a dearth of resources for care givers and patients alike. Our father, her primary caregiver, continues to work, and our mother spends her day in an adult daycare. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050.
A book is currently being written to further share our mother’s story. Our hope is that her story will help to change the lack of support and understanding surrounding this disease and the caregivers who spend their days devoted to their loved ones.