John & Kerry's Story
John and Kerry's video is a poignant snapshot of defining moments in a love story spanning many years. Below is the "story behind the story" of how John made the decision to seek a different level of care for his wife and how he hopes their story can help others.
"Alzheimer's has taught me the importance of the moment...."
John McNeely’s wife, Kerry, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014, shortly after the well-traveled duo had taken a trip to Europe. It was difficult news for the couple of nearly 50 years.
For a while, John cared for his wife at home, but all too soon her disease progressed and John decided that she needed a different level of care. He felt that a memory care community setting would benefit Kerry and he chose the Silverado Community in Naperville, Illinois as her new home.
At the community, John joined a family support group where he was able to share his experiences and also hear from other families going through their own journey with dementia, love and loss. During one of those meetings, he put his thoughts down on paper — bringing his journey and emotions to life through beautifully written words.
In it, he shared the significance of each moment, an important message to all families affected by the disease. John writes, “I have memories of the past and hopes for the future, but Alzheimer’s has taught me the importance of the moment. Nothing else really matters.” He continues, "Each day is complete with its victories and setbacks and I rejoice or feel sorrow as each occurs.”
Although John’s personal message was originally intended to be just that — personal — he chose to share it with others in what has become a powerful message of inspiration. Soon after he wrote those words, Silverado helped bring them to life in a short video documentary.
The video features precious moments John and Kerry allowed us to be a part of, and is a glimpse into their great love story and how Alzheimer’s disease has changed them forever.
He hopes that other families facing similar circumstances can cherish each moment with their loved one and take comfort in the power of love.
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Telling this love story began with a beautiful letter written by a doting husband. We are happy to share his words here.
Connect with other families who are also caring for a loved one affected by dementia.
Learn about the types of dementia and watch videos of our medical directors as they discuss dementia and end-of-life.
Chronicling such a powerful story is a humbling and moving experience - hear about it from the video's creative team.
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