Author of “Fighting the Good Fight” on his Diagnosis

New Brunswick
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When people learn I am living with Alzheimer’s disease, often times they start treating me differently. Sometimes they want to look after me. Other times they make assumptions about my capabilities. Even though I am living with Alzheimer’s, I am still me.

Photo of Patrick in a wooden frame, hanging on a teal wall

My name is Patrick. I'm a retired RCMP officer living in Dieppe, N.B. Two years ago, when I was sixty years old, I was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I was devastated.

After undergoing a series of tests, I knew as soon as I entered the room to receive my results that they had come back positive. There was a team of 8 doctors waiting for me and my wife. As soon as they said the words, my wife started crying. I put my arms around her and told her “it’s going to be alright. We’ll get through this.” I didn’t know what was going to happen next, but I wanted to be strong for my family.

About a year after receiving the diagnosis, I decided I wanted to tell my story. I started writing a memoir as a way to document the events that have shaped my life and to leave my legacy. I hope that by telling my story, I can help others living with Alzheimer’s disease.

I also hope telling my story will help others to learn and better understand the disease. There are so many misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease. People make assumptions about those living with the disease like that they can’t understand what’s going on around them or that they can’t do anything. But that isn’t true. People with Alzheimer’s are still capable of understanding and living a full life. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

If someone I knew was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease today, I would tell them to take it one step at a time. Alzheimer’s has taught me to live in the moment. 

Patrick’s memoir “Fighting the Good Fight” is available now. If you would like to learn more about his story, click here.

Calling the Alzheimer Society changes everything. If you or someone you know is living with dementia, reach out for help today. Contact your local Alzheimer Society or contact us at 1-800-664-8411 or [email protected].