Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Monday, April 5, 2010

Alzheimer's Role Models Bob and Carol Blackwell -- I'm a Fan


"The patient can't choose whether or not they get the disease, but the caregiver can choose his or her attitude. I truly do believe that. Everyone has some 'down' times, but if you let the down times in too frequently, then Alzheimer's wins."....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob and Carol Blackwell go for a hike in Riverbend Regional Park in Great Falls, Va.

Husband and wife. Bob Blackwell suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Carol is his wife. Carol lives in the front row of Alzheimer's disease every day. Bob and Carol are role models for everyone touched by Alzheimer's disease.

I first learned about Bob and Carol a couple of years ago when I read about them in USA Today. Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY, has been following Bob and Carol during this time. There is a recent update on the USA Today website -- Husband and wife cope with Alzheimer's progression.

Bob and Carol aren't sitting around lamenting their fate. Recently, they went up to Capitol Hill to advocate for Alzheimer's and Alzheimer's research.
"We sat down with Rep. Frank Wolfe (D-Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner's (D-Va.) staff in their office and talked for a long time, maybe 30 minutes," Bob says.
Bob and Carol also have a blog on the USA Today website -- Bob's Blog
Living with Alzheimer's.
If you need a positve mental attitude adjustment you can take a trip over to their blog.

Here is what Carol has to say at the beginning of the most recent post to the blog,
Carol's comment: As we have mentioned several times before, this is Bob's blog. I sit at the computer and type for him. He is having more trouble finding the words he wants, so it takes longer to write it. I sometimes 'set the stage' to explain some background. The words are his---he still has a good grasp of what he wants to say--it just takes longer to say it.
What can I say? This is the way it should be. Two heads are better than one.

Bob is also an avid photographer. I really liked this picture on his website.

"This is a picture at Great Falls, VA after the recent rain. I thought you might enjoy it. There were a lot of people at the park that day with cameras on tripods trying to get the best shot."

Bob took that picture recently. When I was running the software company I lived in both New York and Reston, Va. Occasionally, I would go out to the Great Falls to think. You cannot imagine how loud the sound of the raging Potomac river is until you experience it first hand. Powerful. I know that spot where they were.

Carol says,
"The patient can't choose whether or not they get the disease, but the caregiver can choose his or her attitude. I truly do believe that. Everyone has some 'down' times, but if you let the down times in too frequently, then Alzheimer's wins."
I could not have said it better myself. You get to choose. I don't want to put words in Carol's mouth but it seems to me she decided to say "No" to Alzheimer's disease.

Win? Lose? You decide.

God bless you, Bob and Carol.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,300 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room