Spark of Hope #129 – Until now, the words surviving Alzheimer’s could be said only about caregivers; their experience and wisdom; their ways of getting through it. No one diagnosed has ever survived Alzheimer’s. But what if the tables turned? As our visiting artist packed up, we asked about her next gig. Mara Stephenson had traveled the world USO Tour, and now here she was inside our little neighborhood memory cafe. “I’m headed to Nashville, to the Grand Ole Opry”, Mara said with a smile. Her words threw me a memory beeline, right to center stage. I blurted out, “I’m right where I sat a few years back, awaiting Martina McBride’s performance of I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”
Mara sat down again. The tables turned from music to cancer as she shared her survivor story … and how music and singing and performing had restored her hope and changed her life. We all cheered her survivorship. I thought out loud again, “I hope one day we’ll have survivors here too. Loved ones among us surviving Alzheimer’s.” Bittersweetly, we circled up for our group photo and hugs; then departed with the hope of miracles tucked in our hearts.
Mere days later, my eyes filled with tears in seeing headline news. “Banner Health doctors behind a new clinical trial are excited about the possibility of helping millions of Alzheimer’s patients.” HOPE of surviving, patients included. It is optimistic. It is hopeful. Imagine stopping Alzheimer’s in its tracks. Making miracles, it is possible. Never ever give up hope.