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Transcript

Hear Kim Speak

Hear Michele Speak

Alzheimer's Disease: Generations of Impact

Two families share their stories

Kim Reid

Michele Castro

Living with early-onset Alzheimer's

Carrier of an Alzheimer's risk gene

Introduction

Michele Castro

Click here to explore THE CASTRO Family Tree

"Within our community, a lot of people don’t want to get tested (Alzheimer's) The Hispanic community is very loving, caring, but they can also be very private. We don’t want people to know our business."

The PSEN1 Gene

A Latino family living with an 'Alzheimer's gene'

Diversity and Dementia

Advocacy

Making Memories

Click to learn more about

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Michele Castro, PSEN1 carrier

"Historically, because of our lack of healthcare, because our lack of funds to even go to the doctor, those things were not prevalent to us to be able to recognize and to understand. So the more knowledge that we can put out here, “go get checked,” “do this,” “do that.” If they see a black face doing it, they are more apt to, first of all, they can see it can happen to them and also they can do something about it."

An African American family on living with Alzheimer's

Diversity and Dementia

Advocacy

Christmas Time

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Love Story

Robert Reid, Kim's husband, Main Caregiver

Kim and Robert Reid

Click here to Explore THE REID Family Tree

Rosa Belen Gonzalez

José M. Montalvo

Older StepbrotherHad PSEN1 gene

Son

MotherHad PSEN1 Alzheimer's

No signs of Alzheimer's PSEN1 gene carrier

Michele Castro

Daughter

Crystal Merritt

Chris Castro

Raymond Ramos

Maria Dolores Ramos

GrandmotherUndiagnosed Dementia

Jacinto Ramos

GrandfatherUndiagnosed Dementia

Martin Gonzalez Perez

Grandfather

Mercedes GonzalezPerez

Step Grandmother

Michele's Family Tree

Father

Husband

Carmelo Castro

Click on each person to find out more

Elba Ramos

AuntDiagnosed with Alzheimer's

Joel Castro

Joshua Pagan

Tyler Castro

Son

Son

Son

Martin and Rosa Michele's grandfather and Michele's mother

Raymond Ramos was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. He served in the U.S. marines before moving to New York City, where he met Michele's mother, Rosa B. Gonzalez.

Tyler R. Castro Michele's biological child. Does not know if he has PSEN1 gene.

Joshua A. Pagan Michele's biological child. Does not know if he has PSEN1 gene.

Joel Castro No blood relation to Michele Castro.

Willie Louise Wilson

Tracey (Reid) West

Younger sister

Son

MotherParkinson's Disease and Lewy body dementia

Early OnsetAlzheimer's

Kimberly Reid

Daughter

Brandice Reid

Brennan Reid

Earl Wilson

Husband Main Caregiver

Robert Reid

Kim's Family Tree

FatherUndiagnosed Dementia

Click on each person to find out more

Meet the Castro Family

Alzheimer's Disproportionately Affects People of Color

Read more on BeingPatient.com

Meet the Reid Family

Embedded video: The Journey of Dementia

Special thanks to Robert Reid and Michele Castro and their families for providing personal photos and videos.

Kim's Letter to Robert in their High School Yearbook

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Return to Kim's page

Click on image to enlarge

Kim's daughter, Brandice, reads the yearbook letter from her mom to her dad

Kim's father, Earl, was a cross-country truck driver. He was diagnosed with dementia around 2015, a year before his wife, Willie, was diagnosed with Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia. And two years before his daugther Kim was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Tracey and her husband became full-time caregivers to her parents.

Earl Wilson

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Tracey West: Signs of my parent's dementia

Brandice is the oldest child of Kim and Robert. She teaches at an elementary school and lives at home so she can help take care of her mother and support her father as the full-time caregiver. Photos taken by Brennan Reid and the Reid family.

Brandice Reid

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Brandice talk about Kim as a mother

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Why Brandice decided to stay home

As a photographer, Brennan captures his family's ordinary and special moments.

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Brennan talks about his mother's "Almost better than anything cake"

Click to see the recipe

Michele's grandmother, Maria, and her husband lived in Puerto Rico while two of her children moved to New York. She became blind in her late 40s but continued to work around the house. Later, when Maria developed dementia symptoms, her children took turns taking care of her.

Maria D. Rolon

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Michele Castro: Grandmother Maria's Alzheimer's

Kim grew up in southern Kentucky in a small town called Hopkinsville. Although Kim is currently in the moderate to late stage of early-onset Alzheimer's, she still enjoys spending time with her family and visits her childhood home where her sister, Tracey, currently lives.

Michele and Carmelo developed instant chemistry across the dance floor in New York City. Since then they've been married for more than 25 years. Both had kids from previous marriages but they raised all their children in the same household, making one big blended family.

Michele's mother, Rosa, was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. She met Michele's father in New York and became an active and respected member of the Bronx community. Rosa worked as an administrator for Section 8 housing helping people in her community. Rosa passed away before she turned 60 but it wasn't until Rosa reached the late stages of early onset Alzheimer's that Michele discovered she had the PSEN1 gene.

Rosa Belen Gonzalez

Michele Castro: Finding out about her mom's diagnosis

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Rosa with Jose and Michele in New York City

José (Joe) had a career as an Emergency Medical Service worker for the FDNY. He worked during the 9-11 World Trade Center attack and aftermath. Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's when he was in his 40s, Joe passed away at 59. His big personality and jovial nature left an impact on his friends and family.

José M. Montalvo

Crystal Merritt: Taking care of Uncle Joe

Carmelo Castro: What made Joe special

Michele Castro: Happiest childhood memories

Michele's son, Chris, is a registered nurse and nurse educator. He uses his medical background to help navigate Michele's doctor's appointments. He chose to live 15 mintues away so he can lend hand whenever it is needed. Chris has no blood relation to Michele.

Kim's mother, Willie, was a factory worker who also worked as a church secretary. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2016 and later with Lewy body dementia. Around the same time, Kim was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. Tracey and her husband moved back into her parents' home to help take care of them.

Willie Louise Wilson

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Tracey West: I have three family members with dementia

When Crystal found out her mother has the PSEN1 gene, she was just engaged to be married. Today she cherishes every moment she has with her mother. Crystal isn't sure if she wants to get tested for the PSEN1 gene.

Michele is currently 55 years old and has yet to exhibit symptoms associated with Alzheimer's, but the fact that she carries the PSEN1 gene makes it likely that she will develops Alzheimer's before 65 years old. Her genetic status motivates her to plan for the future. After witnessing how the disease impacted her mother and brother, she hopes to make it easier for her family.

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Michele on the future

Michele's concerns about Alzheimer's

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What Michele wants for her husband

Tracey talks about her big sister Kim and what she was like growing up together.

Tracey West: The first time I noticed Kim's memory loss

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Kim is currently in the moderate to late stages of early-onset Alzheimer's. Robert works from home and is the full-time care partner of Kim. Robert believes that Alzheimer's affects the whole family, but also brings him closer to his wife.

Jacinto Ramos

Michele Castro: "We think grandfather had Alzheimer's"

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