The Baker's: Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease

From Natasha Baker:

For those of you who haven’t heard my husband, David, has recently been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. 

David is 48 years old. He and I have been married almost 26 years and have three of the best kids ever – Makenna (16) and Jackson and Dylan (12). We live on a 73-acre farm in the small community of Waynesville, Ohio. This was our dream farm. We thought we would retire from our daily grind to live out our lives here taking care of the land and raising cattle and pigs.

Most of you don’t know David; let me tell you a little about him.

David grew up on a farm not far from here. As a teen, he had dreams of one day being on stage playing guitar and singing songs he wrote. Most who heard him play were always surprised a farm kid could jam like that. His legendary performance at our high school band contest is still remembered by those who were there.

Soon after high school, David and I reconnected and were soon married and starting our lives together. I had no idea the adventure I was in for.

This guy never says ‘no’ to anything. Every challenge, every risk, every new idea is to be explored and attempted. And usually, he is just tough enough to be successful with more determination than anyone I have ever known. Through it all, he has been smiling, always with a quick joke or sarcastic remark that would leave everyone around him laughing.

That’s why this diagnosis is so tough for him. He is progressing rapidly, already developing symptoms typical for the late stages of the disease. Hearing ‘no’ from his doctors at every turn is defeating him. No, you can’t drive any more. No, you can’t work and provide for your family any more. No, you won’t get better. 

Those of you who know me also know that I am not one to ask for help. David and I have always done what needed to be done together. We take care of our family, our business, and each other. We now realize that this independent approach won’t work for us any longer. We are going to need to lean on the friends and family in our network for even the basics like food, medical and household bills, and at some point care beyond what I can provide for him.

So many people have already asked what they can do to help, and honestly this is it. Financial support is what we need more than anything right now. Well, that and your prayers, and positive vibes, and good juju, and any hugs you want to send our way.

This will give our family some stability as we work through the days and months to come. As we sell our farm and family home and look for a new one. As we continue to raise our beautiful kids and try to keep things somewhat normal for them. As we take advantage of every opportunity to find happiness in sorrow, joy in pain, and love in fear.

We thank you, so much, for every thought, prayer, and kind word said. We love and cherish every one of them and every one of you.

Much love,

The Bakers

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Karen Hanley Gibson 
Vandalia, OH
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