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When her father was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s, then 14-year-old Melissa was forced to grow up before time, and be his caretaker.
Melissa experienced an emotional rollercoaster in her life as she tried to balance school, her teenage years and caregiving. She wished she knew more about the condition so that she could have had more understanding and empathy.
“No one taught us how to feel when we watched you slowly slip away, or how to react when your memories started fading, and you stopped remembering who we were”, she says in the letter to her father.
Today, Melissa runs Project We Forgot as a tribute to her father and to support young caregivers. She also reaches out to various institutions to help raise awareness for the needs and support for young caregivers.
Watch and listen to Melissa’s story in the video in her own words. And don’t forget to grab some tissues, you may need them.
“I wanted to draw from my experience to do something for my father, something that would live on in his memory. My faint memories of him were from when I was younger. I never really got the chance to know him better as a person, and as my father, before we had to finally let him go. Project We Forgot is partially a tribute to him”, says Melissa.
Project We Forgot provides an online space for identification for young caregivers caring for a loved one with dementia through personal stories. They drive strong outreach across social channels through branded content to target the young. They advocate and build a community of support for young caregivers who may be caring for a parent or a grandparent with dementia.
A story by Our Better World – telling stories of good to inspire action.