I met Airen and her family over 20 years ago when I was appearing as Bernardo in a production of West Side Story.
I’ve stayed close with Airen over the years. She has lived through some of my most uncontrolled bipolar and dissociative identity disorder episodes long before I was diagnosed. She is a true friend.
Four years ago, Airen’s mother Penny was diagnosed with Stage 3 Dementia and was put in a health care facility. She has since progressed to Stage 6.
Dementia is a cruel disease. It robs the afflicted of their memories and most basic life functions like language and problem-solving abilities. When her mother’s facility was on lockdown due to COVID-19, Airen’s visits were limited to Zoom calls or conversations separated by a glass window. This was confusing to Penny, she couldn’t understand why she could see her daughter but couldn’t touch her.
Thankfully Airen is able to visit her mother in person again. Her mother has good and bad days. On good days they take walks and look at picture books, putting both of them in a good state of mind. On bad days, Airen leaves in tears. That’s the ups and downs of what happens with a diseased brain.
Airen is raising money for all those facing Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support
Airen is walking in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 2, 2021. I encourage you to donate to this worthy cause or sign up to raise money and walk yourself. Every dollar helps.
Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care. There are participants from over 600 communities nationwide. Please consider lending your support to Airen
To support Airen’s quest visit: shorturl.at/mzPSY
Peace. Love. Trust.
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