All In for the Next Family
“This disease can be so insidious. Telling your story over and over, only to have no one believe you — you feel pushed away, ignored, and isolated.” — Melissa Fisher, FTD care partner
Following several years of misdiagnoses, Melissa Fisher’s father, Mark Moriarty, was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD in 2018. “People see a physically healthy person, so they don’t believe us as caregivers that he has an illness. It makes it incredibly difficult for people living with FTD to access proper care,” she said.
While helping her mother navigate Mark’s diagnosis, Melissa lost track of how many times she described her father’s symptoms and behaviors while trying to get her family the answers and assistance they needed. “I’ve spoken with police officers, psychiatrists, social workers, insurance agents, nurses, neurologists, and so many others! I had to convince each one of them that something was wrong or explain to them what this disease is.”
This experience, which she says has caused an enormous amount of stress and anguish for her family, opened her eyes to a pervasive lack of understanding about FTD.
Through her family’s journey, Melissa realized that others confront similar challenges, and she is determined to find a way to help improve the experience for all people facing the disease.
Today she serves as an AFTD Ambassador. An AFTD grassroots events fundraiser, she recently ran the New York City Marathon in support of AFTD. She strongly believes that educating healthcare professionals and service providers will lead to necessary changes to provide better support and resources for FTD caregivers, care partners, and their loved ones.
Melissa is all in to #endFTD. “This is a disease of the collective. It touches all of us. I will do anything to help the next family not have to go through the nightmare we did.”
Will you join Melissa to help improve the quality of life of people impacted by FTD? A tax-deductible gift of any amount advances AFTD’s work to raise awareness, educate the medical community, and provide resources and support to all affected by this disease. Click here to give a gift today.
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