Friday, April 17, 2009

Diana Friel McGowin



I intend to outlast this thing, to stay on any and each plateau white knuckled, and endure any slipping with stubborn fight, not giving up until a true treatment is found. And then I intend to be one of the first in line.

Humor will save us and our families from ruin. Laughter gives the same venting release as a scream, but is much more socially acceptable.

I never knew life was so beautiful around me, before. I wonder what I was so busy doing before this diagnosis, that I missed the true fragrance of flowers, loveliness of rolling hills, enchantment of a baby's smile? - Diana Friel McGowin
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I think that the first friend and classmate who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease was when we were living in Denver; at that time I knew relatively little about the disease (still know very little). Since that time, there have been other classmates and other friends who have been diagnosed with this Thief.
Diana Friel McGowin was only forty-five years old when she began to struggle with memory lapses and disorientation that signal the onset of Alzheimer's disease. At that time, even less was known about Alzheimer's.
Michael Mullan, M.D., University of South of South Florida, wrote in 1993 that
"Finally, it is worth noting that Diane's piercing insight into her mental state is uncharacteristic of AD -- the faculty of self-awareness often being sacrificed early. Fortunately, it is the preservation of these mental capacities that make such a book possible. These variations in the clinical picture and the difficulties of diagnosis should turn our attention to support groups directed at AD and related disorders to ensure support for those individuals who do not easily fit the diagnostic picture but nevertheless need and deserve as much support as more easily recognizable cases receive.
"Who else needs support? Well, undoubtedly the friends, relatives, and carers do. Witnessing the demise of a loved one is understandably difficult. The time from learning to understanding and accepting the diagnosis, the period of self-education, and the search for treatments are characteristic phases through which the caregivers pass."
In 1999, Mia Farrow starred in Forget Me Never, based on McGowin's book.
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I very recently learned that another friend has been diagnosed with this disease - which so saddens me . . . my friends are slipping away . . .
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6 comments:

  1. I have a close family friend that struggled with Alzheimer's for several years before passing away just a couple years ago. The Alzheimer's Association estimates 5.3 million people in the United States are living with the disease.

    It is important for patients and families affected by diseases such as Alzheimer's to consider participating in clinical studies. Current therapies for Alzheimer's treat the symptoms associated with it, not the disease itself. One such study for Alzheimer’s is the ICARA (Bapi) study (www.icarastudy.com), whose goal is to explore if an investigational drug, called Bapineuzumab, can help slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. This type of research is the only chance we have for fighting this disease.

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  2. I am curious if there is an current afterword from Diane. I just finished here story through 1994 because I just discovered her book? I have been a care giver to early onset AD since Oct 2009.

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  3. My name is Kathy Wood. I live in Oakland,Ca. I read about Diana McGowin May she rest in peace!. She was a remarkable person.

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  4. Meu nome é Leoni Miranda Amorim e acabei de assistir ao filme Momentos Esquecidos (Canal Viva "36") Brasil e fiquei muito emocionada com a história. Chorei por ver tanta força, tanta vontade de ajudar pessoas com este diagnóstico prematuro e tão terrível. Adorei a ideia de fazer este filme e assim poder ajudar a abrir os olhos principalmente dos familiares próximos.

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  5. Diana Friel McGowan's story in the movie with Mia Farrow was very inspiring.

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  6. Diana Friel McGowan's story in the movie with Mia Farrow was very inspiring.

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