Today we bring you the story of a young professional who was diagnosed with a disease that is often associated with older people but it can affect anyone at any age.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5 percent of those with Alzheimer’s aren't even 65 years old yet.
KRDO NewsChannel13's Cinthia Maldonado tells us why this woman wants to bring awareness.
It's a disease affecting young and old alike. "I thought I was bullet proof. I've never really been sick."
Joanna Brooks is 49 years old. In her prime time of success — life took a left turn.
"When I was at home trying to get ready for work i was having trouble bathing and getting myself dressed. It took a little more time to park the car and to walk to my classroom and prepare my materials," explains Joanna Brook.
She's been diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer’s called Early Stage Young Onset.
Private practice counselor Darlene Avery says the disease affects many, "People who get Alzheimer’s under the age of 65 and that's about 5%."
Alzheimer’s affects roughly 2,000,000 people
Joanna has been getting help from Darlene Avery, "There are people out there who can help you understand how the disease is affecting you personally and how to adapt."
She says this disease is often misdiagnosed for other illnesses. "Early Onset affects are subtle changes in your ability to do complex thinking problem solving, your judgment. Subtle changed in your personality."
Joanna wants to break the stigma. "What does that look like? Well it looks like me. It looks like anyone walking around. That is the face of Alzheimer’s, it's all of us this is not your grandparents disease."
Both say people should request deep neurological testing to prevent catastrophic devastation.
There are 10 signs for early detection of Alzheimer’s.