The Gomes Family LBD Journey

To a man that loved well. To the hopeful romantic.

Eight years ago my Dad (Richard) was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and now at 60, his final stages are upon us. I invite you to read his and my family’s story:

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Big Rich was a man who inspired those around him to follow their calling and uplifted those he never even met. He lived a full life and accomplished every goal he sought out. He set forth a vision and took action with perseverance, just as he did with the love of his life, my Mom. It was love at first sight for him. He met her at a wedding and pursued her for seven years, knowing she was the one. She has stuck by his side with compassion, fearlessness and the same love she has always had for him since they first met.

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I was able to see them build a life in America from scratch. Together, they launched a successful computer company, built a church, mentored countless individuals and built their dream home – all the while still making time for us, his three children.

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When he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, which we now know is Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), we didn’t know what to expect. It began as forgetfulness, which he would jokingly play off and slowly turned to depression. As things progressed, confusion settled in: He lost the ability to drive and began drawing back from community, acting abnormally with occasional outbursts of anger.

It has been difficult to see my Dad go through one of the hardest battles one could face. Even now as I write, seeing him across the room in a hospital bed, struggling just to bend his knee, is heartbreaking. To see his spirit strong and willing, trapped in a body that is slowly dwindling away, is like seeing a candle where all the wax has melted, but the wick hasn’t fully burned out.

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We would give anything to see him walk the halls, take out the trash, feed himself, dance and get so low, we feared he wouldn’t get back up, but he always did. This was him only three months ago. Now he is immobile and completely dependent for all daily tasks; doing his best to just swallow.

We need your help. Asking for it is never easy, but we have exhausted all other resources and harder days are still ahead of us.

Our family has made every sacrifice possible to make sure big Rich has everything he needs to be comfortable but at this point, we have completely depleted our family’s life savings and most of our retirement funds.

We created this page to raise money to help support the costs of ensuring my dad can live his final stages at home surrounded by family and friends, and that he is cared for with the dignity and attention he deserves.

We would like to raise $30,000 which will go towards:

- 24/7 home care and any additional care my dad needs to have a good quality of life

- Help my mom pay off the debt accumulated trying to properly care for my dad over the last eight years

- Medical supplies and equipment

- Any remaining funds will be donated to organizations that have provided assistance along the way, as well as research towards this disease

Although Rich cannot vocally express himself anymore, I know he would want to thank everyone for their love and support through this unexpected and challenging journey.

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On behalf of myself and my family, thank you for taking the time to read about our journey. We are so grateful for all those who continue to support us through this challenging time, and we could not have done it without your help.

LBD affects millions of people nationwide and we hope our dad’s story sheds some light and awareness on this terrible disease. Even if you are unable to contribute monetary donations, you can help by sharing this page and keeping Rich in your thoughts.

More Information About LBD: https://www.lbda.org/go/10-things-you-should-know-about-lbd
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Organizer

David Anthony Gomes 
Organizer
Brunswick, GA
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