CANTON, Texas (KETK)- Christi Bullard has seen the long and painful progression of Alzheimer’s in four of her family members.
About 400,000 Texans have the disease, which causes memory, thinking and behavior to change and deteriorate.
“Now, if your body’s in good health, you could live a long time. You just don’t know anything mentally,” said Bullard.
Both of Bullard’s grandmothers were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She watched as the disease slowly and painfully erased who they once were.
Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently. Some may get angry and confused while others pick up odd behaviors.
“She loved to go get the silverware, forks, spoons, and she would go hide those,” recalls Bullard about her grandmother. “We would find them between mattresses. We would find them in bookshelves…you just never knew what they were thinking.”
About five years after the diagnosis, Bullard’s grandmothers didn’t recognize her.
“That’s when it’s the saddest because at that time, you feel that you already had told them goodbye,” said Bullard.
Her aunt and cousin are now also battling the disease.
“My number one fear is to end up with Alzheimer’s one day. And, the thought of me not recognizing my children and even worse, me not recognizing my grandchildren that brings such fear to me,” added Bullard.
She has made it her mission to fight for a cure.
Bullard walks to end Alzheimer’s every year along with hundreds of other people who have the same wish.
“I hope in my lifetime I get to meet the first person that survives Alzheimer’s,” said Bullard tearfully.
She raised $3,500 so far and is leading on the roster for this week’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The money will be going towards finding a cure for the disease.