When Amanda was a year old, her mother married a man that Amanda says “my life would have taken a very different trajectory if it was not for him”.
When Amanda was growing up in Macon, her father was a successful attorney while her mother worked at Trust Company Bank. Her parents were also very involved with the Central Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Amanda’s father was Board President while Amanda was a volunteer in the adult day care center. Amanda’s grandmother was diagnosed in early 50’s and her family felt this was a great way to give back to the community while honoring a family member. “My dad gave everything to his family. There is no greater love than that and he never expected anything in return”.
In 2014, things started to change with Amanda’s father when they started to notice some changes, and how withdrawn he had become. “My dad was a man of few words anyway, but we knew something was not right”. At the age of 76, Amanda’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“My mom was the primary caregiver and was able to care for him at home. Although my siblings were able to help, my mother juggled caring for my father and continued to work at her school. My father never wanted to be without my mother”.
While Amanda lived in Savannah, she was able to visit with her father through FaceTime. “I’d ask him ‘who is your favorite daughter’ and he would always laugh. It became the running joke that I was his “favorite daughter”, but he didn’t have favorites.
On June 28, 2020, Amanda’s dad passed away at home peacefully while her family surrounded him. “I remember holding my Dad’s hand the night before he passed, and asked him to squeeze it if he could hear me? He did and then I asked for him to squeeze twice, and he squeezed my hand twice. I promised him that I would take care of Mom no matter what”.
This has been a very rough few months”, added Amanda. “Watching a brilliant attorney decline was a real struggle and it’s hard to think about what this did to our family”.
On Saturday, September 26, along with hundreds of other Savannah residents, Amanda’s family will come together to participate in the Savannah Walk to End Alzheimer’s. They are celebrating Amanda’s father’s legacy and remember the man they cherished so dearly. The family named their team “No Greater Love”, which is from John 15:13 – ‘Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”.
“We want to help find a cure that robbed my Dad’s mind – how scary is it to lose something that served so many so well and now it’s robbing you”.
To learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit georgiawalk.org