Our son Josh is not going to help us find a cure for FTD because he doesn’t understand that he has this terrible disease. Josh doesn’t even understand that he is ill. One of the many symptoms of this life ending disease is the person afflicted is in complete denial.
Josh is a graduate of Libertyville High School and received his BS from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He opened his own health insurance brokerage company "Pierce Benefits" approximately 8 years ago and ran a very profitable business until three years ago when he began to have behavioral issues.
FTD can strike people of all ages but unlike Alzheimer's or dementia it strikes at an early age. It takes away memory, changes the personality, steals the ability to communicate, function normally and say and do things completely out of character that are socially unacceptable. Ultimately this disease takes away the ability to swallow and breathe.
Josh's daughters Chloe and Maddie now 6 years old visit him in his current setting. They don't completely comprehend the severity of his situation but they understand that this is where their father will live for the foreseeable future. His behavioral issues have necessitated having him placed in a facility with 24 hour monitoring. It is difficult for his brother and sisters, Jodi, Adam, Rachel and Jess to watch his gradual decline. Everyone processes this type of thing differently.
Josh has had this disease for about four to five years. I write "four to five" because the doctors do not know exactly how long he has had it. That is why research is so important. No one completely understands this disease. This disease is misdiagnosed by competent doctors on a routine basis. Josh had test after test taken at many famous hospitals and clinics. He was seen by an endless list of esteemed doctors and was misdiagnosed by them all for 18 months.
First people need to be aware of this disease, through awareness we will find the cause and then, and only then, a cure will be found.
This is why we are trying to raise funds for research. Your help and donations will be greatly appreciated especially by the individuals that will contract FTD in the future.