Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a memory-robbing disease that afflicts those over age 65. In fact, more the five million Americans have Alzheimer's today and those numbers are expected to increase as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age according to the Alzheimer's Association's 2009 Facts and Figures.
For author Michael Stidham, Alzheimer's was just another passing word he heard on the news, until one day that word became the focal point of his life. In his new book, "Love Equals Sacrifice", Stidham shares his personal story of caring for a father with Alzheimer's and his realization that true love does not come without sacrifice.
"Things were very hard for both my father and me," Stidham says. "I remember asking God on a few occasions to please take one of us, I don't care which one. Obviously, I was under enormous pressure during this period. Running my business was a piece of cake compared to being a caretaker."
Stidham's story centers on the tragic events that surrounded his family, including the deaths of his oldest brother and his mother, as well as watching his father's mind slowly deteriorate from Alzheimer's. Left devastated and frustrated, Stidham details his journey from darkness to light to help others caring for aging parents.
"I have a very deep respect for those taking care of an elderly relative - especially those who are taking care of someone with Alzheimer's," says Stidham, who spent five years caring for his aging father. "I know it's not easy, but God appreciates everything done out of love. Watching my father turn from a vibrant person to an empty shell of a man was very humbling. I quickly learned life is far from easy, but there is light at the end of the tunnel."
Michael Stidham currently resides in Bellevue, Ky. He obtained a bachelor's degree in accounting and information systems from Northern Kentucky University. He spent more than 12 years running his sports bar before becoming a full-time caregiver for his dying father. He is actively involved in The Knights of Columbus, the Kentucky Society of CPA's and the Campbell County Game and Fish Association. For more information, please visit www.LoveEqualsSacrifice.com.
We have one (1) copy of Love Equals Sacrifice to give away to one lucky reader!
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Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade