There is no doubt that my diagnosis of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, had a massive and devastating effect on my family. Not only did it trigger a range of emotions (fear, frustration, sadness and uncertainty) but it also meant that all of our dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future were now gone. Decisions regarding treatment, living arrangements and finances now had to take priority. Having previously experienced a similar situation when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2006, I was adamant that I didn’t want to see my own family torn apart. Imagine this – even to this day, my own mother, 2 elder sisters and my younger brother, have nothing to do with Peter and myself – all because we choose to defend the rights of our father (who had dementia at the time), after divorce proceedings were initiated. Luckily for me, my own personal circumstances have bonded our two families together, so Peter’s and my children, are more like brothers and sisters, than cousins. This is particularly evident in the running of the family restaurant, from April 2018 to October 2020, where we all work together, side by side, on a regular basis. As a proud grandfather to Alaska and Haven, I look forward to the years ahead as my own family starts to grow again. I have no doubt, that without the care, support and love of my family, I would be lost forever.
Recently, my sister's eldest son, Patrick, decided that he wanted his own family to meet his godparents, so he reached out to Peter and me. Despite the many years that have passed, it is great to renew not only our friendship and love, but it is a pleasure to see how our families are now once again bonded together.