For Woman Living with FTD, a Renewed Purpose During Pandemic


Pam McElreath, who was diagnosed with FTD in 2017, shared her story of finding a renewed sense of purpose amid the COVID-19 pandemic in an article published in Everyday Health on December 21.

McElreath (above) wrote about rediscovering her passion for quilting and sewing after learning of her FTD and kidney cancer diagnoses in 2017.

“I threw myself into the things I loved. Quilting became my passion again,” she wrote. “Cutting pieces and putting patterns together was more challenging than it used to be, but I found it rewarding.”

When the pandemic hit, “everything changed,” McElreath wrote. But she began to find moments of joy amid the pandemic’s devastation by making homemade masks.

“Shortly after the shutdown, my family doctor, who knows of my passion for quilting, asked if I would be willing to make masks. Her order of medical masks had not arrived yet, and she feared her staff would be left without critical protection,” McElreath wrote. “There really is no better remedy for whatever ails you than being able to help those in need.”

McElreath, along with members of her dementia support group, made more than 4,000 masks in 10 months, giving her “a wonderful sense of purpose.”

AFTD’s COVID-19 and FTD resource page provides information on how to manage, navigate, and cope with the challenges of facing the FTD journey during the pandemic.

Click here to read McElreath’s full story.

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