Newburgh family prepares to attend Alzheimer’s walk

Newburgh family prepares to attend Alzheimer’s walk
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - Marlena Johnston is the mother of Missy Patterson, a 49-year-old woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

“We all have grandparents or parents that have dementia and Alzheimer’s, but we just don’t expect it at 47,″ Johnston said.

Johnston is no stranger to this disease. Her mother died from dementia. Johnston says she took care of her mother for the last year and a half she lived with the disease.

“I think about all those things,” Johnston said. “But it’s even harder when it’s your child.”

Johnston says although her daughter majored in math in her early college years, about two and a half years ago her daughter couldn’t pass the math portion of her teaching degree.

After Patterson and her family visited three psychologists and two neurologists, she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Johnston says it was hard for the whole family, but the impact of the news hit Patterson a little after the diagnosis.

“Her comment was that ‘it just hit me that I’m never going to know my grandchildren’ because her children are so young,” Johnston said.

Johnston says their family relies heavily on God, even now through prayer and reading the Bible.

“Our faith is what keep’s us going,” Johnston said.

Patterson and much of her family plan to attend the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association Walk in Newburgh on Saturday.

Lori Kendrick, Patterson’s sister, says this walk came at the perfect time for their family. She says they are using this event as an opportunity to share Patterson’s diagnosis with family and friends.

The “Missy’s memories” team page has raised $5,700 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

The 2022 Southwest Indiana Walk to End Alzheimer’s Event opens at 9 a.m. The walk begins at 10 a.m.

Click here to register for the Southwest Indiana Walk to End Alzheimer’s.