AFTD Volunteer Pens Delaware State News Op-Ed

Don Jagger Head Shot

In honor of World FTD Awareness Week, AFTD volunteer Gene Thornton detailed her family’s FTD journey in the September 28 issue of Delaware State News. She wrote of her husband Donovan’s experiences as a resident of the Delaware Veterans Home. Donovan, who has FTD, has lived at the facility for nearly three years.

In a letter to the editor published two days before Donovan’s seventy-first birthday and four days prior to their forty-second wedding anniversary, Gene highlighted the realities of life as a care partner. “These special days no longer have meaning for Don,” she writes. “One day is as the other.”

Although Don can no longer stand or eat without assistance, Gene notes that he “seems content and even happy” at the Veterans Home.

“All the staff at Delaware Veterans Home are wonderful, from the IT specialist, to the billing specialist, to the welcome desk and guards to the aides and nurses,” she writes. Veronica, Don’s favorite nurse, “is special because she danced with him when he first arrived.”

To promote FTD awareness this year, Gene hosted an online Food for Thought fundraiser, which brought in $1500 in just a few short days in support of AFTD’s mission.

“Please take some time to discuss Frontotemporal Degeneration over a meal in the next few weeks,” Gene asks her readers.

Click here to learn more about AFTD’s Food for Thought campaign or to host an event.