How often do you hear someone with Alzheimer’s say this:
“I live a wonderful life.”
Sixty-six-year-old Cynthia Guzman was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago. Despite the enormous challenges she and her family face, she says in a Napa Valley Register article
: “Probably the only stress I have is picking the wine with my meals in the evening.”
What if more people—or ALL people—who are living with Alzheimer’s disease felt this way?
Cynthia, a former nurse, has been working to make that happen. Back when she was diagnosed, her doctor recommended that she reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association for support, and since then, she’s been working with the organization to help other people with Alzheimer’s feel the contentment that has stayed with her, even as her disease has progressed.
As a member of the Early-Stage Advisory Group on Living With Alzheimer’s
, she speaks out about the disease, lobbies for research money, and advocates for support programs at events like the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum
She also advises caregivers in assisted living facilities about how to support her needs. The input she offers will go a long way toward shaping both her own care and the care of others now and in the future.
Perhaps her most honorable contribution as an Advisory Group member is how she shows others that even though she has dementia, she’s still a thriving person who’s capable of more than many people might expect—and still has enormous gifts to contribute to the world.
For her work and in honor of National Women’s History Month, she was recently named a Woman of the Year by Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, CA.