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The work of AACRs is critical to achieving our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Read the stories of some of our Star AACRs below.
My name is Natasha White and I live on the Southside of Chicago. I have an 18-year-old daughter who is college bound in September this year, and I’m totally not ready for her to go. I absolutely love music, dancing and doing different and exciting things. My favorite color is blue and favorite artist of all time is Prince. I love writing poetry, helping people and learning new things. I am also a licensed massage therapist in Illinois and am working on building my relaxation and self-care business. I am very excited about venturing into entrepreneurship. I do perform relaxation techniques part-time and hope to build my own business so that I can provide complementary services to caregivers.
What led to your involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association and the ACCR program?
I did a lot of my own research so that I could find out more about the disease and how to care for my mom. Putting her in a nursing home was not an option. In the midst of caring for her, I suffered from sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, depression, anger and a roller coaster of emotions, but I was determined to make sure my mom got what she needed. There were good and bad days, and the majority of the time I felt alone. This new experience dropped a huge bomb on me as well as my daughter, who as a teenager and had to deal with helping her mom care for a loved one. Both my daughter and myself grew in patience and persevered through this very difficult time. I learned a lot about POA (both financial and medical), the different stages of dementia, how to interact with someone with dementia and the different programs available to people with a debilitating disease.
Despite the challenges, I got to see a softer side of my mom I never got to see when I was growing up, as well as built relationships with family members that I had only been around but never really sat down and had a heart-to-heart conversation. From my maternal grandmother, I got the opportunity to learn some things about my mom that I never knew, which helped me to better understand and relate to her even though she was battling this disease. I cared for my mom up until her passing on November 16, 2012. It was extremely difficult to bear, but I knew she was in a better place. The same year she died was the very first time I had participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She was and continues to be my motivation for walking, and I will continue to walk until I can’t anymore.
What duties do you have as an ACCR?
Why did you choose to become an ACCR?
Why do you think others should join the ACCR program?