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Carl was a brilliant man. He taught at the university for years and years and was frequently recognized by both students and colleagues for his excellent teaching and student rapport. He was a good father and husband on the home front, teaching our daughter and son life lessons that are still important to them. We loved to travel and to experience as much as we could pack into our days. Carl was quirky, too, and we loved him for that. That quirkiness led us off many a beaten path onto a better one less traveled and more explorable.

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I've spent 18 years as an Alzheimer’s caregiver and the last four as an activist. This certainly was not my plan.  My 81-year-old dad began to show symptoms of dementia in 1994, the same year that former President Ronald Reagan published his now famous letter to the American people announcing his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Three years later in 1997, at age 57, my husband Richard was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is a clinical diagnosis and an interesting term, but it is far from mild.

I am Italian and went through a nightmare that is now becoming a nightmare to so many families with young children at home.  And this nightmare will certainly bankrupt them.

My husband came down with Alzheimer's at 48 years old.  He was sick for 7 years (but he showed signs of this for at least 10 years prior ) and died at 54 years old in 2004.  This April, it will be ten years since he's passed.

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