Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rick The Alzheimer's YouTube Guy... HAWMC #21

Every couple of days Rick Phelps of Memory People sits down and creates a video diary of his early onset Alzheimer's Disease from the patient's perspective.  He speaks candidly, openly and from the heart.  He lets his audience not only see him at his worst as well as his best in order to try to help the Alzheimer's community, but he does so in a completely transparent manner.

There are a lot of things to admire about Rick:

++ He maintains his video diary
++ He created the fabulous online Alzheimer's Community on Facebook called Memory People (MP)
++ He continues to manage and grow MP like a pro, yet he's only been doing this for a handful of months now!
++ He is available online to help other patients and caregivers as well as advocates in whatever way he can from information to support.
++ He's made himself available to speak in person about his disease including media interviews
++ He opens himself wide up so others can better understand this disease in a personal way.
++ He is an encouraging soul facing a devastating diagnosis of monumental proportions... with grace and bravery.

I only met Rick a few weeks ago when I joined the Alzheimer's community.  I'm lucky enough not to have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, nor am I the caregiver or family member of a patient.  My life was changed when a beloved Aunt died from the disease, and I was never told of her diagnosis until she was gone and it was too late for me to be a good niece and offer any help.

One day I was looking for a great community to join, and fell across MP and Rick and the crew there.  Even though I'm not a patient or caregiver, I was nonetheless welcomed with open arms - a testament to the great people you'll find in that wonderful group. If you know anyone with Alzheimer's Disease, this is a wonderful spot to call Home.

I saw one of Rick's videos - one of his first - and was hooked.

The video I first saw was not a good day for Rick.  He was suffering terribly, yet let us all see what it was doing to him physically and emotionally.  It remains one of the most touching videos I've seen on the subject of Alzheimer's, because it's not professionally produced or full of fluffy writing or touchy-feely stuff.  It's just raw.  Honest.  Clear. When you watch Rick talk, you are witnessing this disease and the bravery of those who have it.

Want to know what an Alzheimer's patient thinks about living with the disease?  Rick will tell you.  So will the members of his community.

Want to know what it feels like to be a caregiver of someone you love who has Alzheimer's?  Go to Memory People.  The people there are standing with arms opened wide to any and all who want to know more about living with and surviving this disease.  

Here is Rick's first video.  He talks about himself, his beautiful family and the diagnosis of his Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease.  Be forewarned... he'll have you hooked and ready to watch them all from start to finish...
Comment by Alzheimer's Speaks on April 23, 2011 at 11:26pm
Great article!  Thanks for writing it.
Comment by Ellen S on April 24, 2011 at 5:24pm
I'm so glad you liked it :). We're working on something a little more to be published soon... Stay tuned!

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