Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia, affects over 5 million Americans today. Mostly, it develops in much older adults, causing progressively worsening memory loss, cognitive and physical impairment, and eventually death. In fact, it ranks as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. There is still no known cure for Alzheimer’s, and most diagnoses are made well into the disease’s progression, as its early signs are commonly mistaken for “signs of aging.”
Many families struggle to cope with having to face a loved one who has lost memory of who they are and who their family members are. Some would even give up on trying to make their sick loved one remember. For Kelly Gunderson, however, the precious few moments her mother recognizes her are worth the effort of making her remember.
Kelly from Georgia is the woman behind a recently posted YouTube video that went viral, having garnered nearly 2.5 million views since it posted online on August 29. It is a short video, barely 2 minutes long, that features Kelly laying next to her 87-year-old mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease.
The heart-warming video starts off with Kelly exchanging playful banter with her mildly confused mother, while trying to see if she remembers her. The rare moment of lucidity came slowly, eventually allowing Kelly’s mother to realize she is indeed talking to her daughter. The recognition is all the more phenomenal because Kelly is an identical twin.
Towards the end of the video, Kelly asks her mother what she’s thinking about. Her mother responds, “Well, I’m loving you.” To which Kelly replies, “I’m loving you too, momma.”
Then the two exchange teary smiles as Kelly’s mother says happily, “We’re both doing the same thing. Isn’t it wonderful?”
The prevalence of this incurable neurologic disease is on the rise. Statistics even show that every 67 seconds, someone in the country develops Alzheimer’s disease. Baby Boomers with Alzheimer’s in Texas alone are growing in number at an alarming rate.