Terry from Indiana

I have been a caregiver for years. My dad became ill, and I learned what it is like to be a caregiver for a family member. He had Leukemia and a blood disease. I took care of him until his death and then a week later, my mentally challenged brother became ill. He had a heart attack, and then within a year, he was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy. I had never heard of this. Sadly, throughout the next seven years, I learned the ugly truth about this disease. Terminal, ugly, terrible issues. I took care of him to the end. I always wondered if I did enough, could I say or do more. It was hell watching the life being sucked out of him. The illness took away his movement, independence. It caused him to use a cane, then a walker, next a wheelchair, and eventually bed bound. Everything he once was; was taken from him. Multiple System Atrophy is a rare neurological disease. After his death two years ago, I became a public speaker and team member for a cure for this unfamiliar disease. Now, I myself have been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Research is being done to see if there is an environmental denominator since a lot of people lived near farm land or electrical towers. I will fight until I can no longer fight for my brother's memory and my own life. A caregiver gives so much and the returns may include sadness and tears, but the remaining memories are cherished for eternity.