By Megan Solensky
Maya Francisco is a student at Allegheny College and is a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association. Growing up, she watched her father struggle with Alzheimer’s and uses his story to spread awareness.
“My story begins back in high school, actually my sophomore year of high school, when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” said Francisco. “Unfortunately, we did not know many of the signs or had no idea what was going on with my dad. But we had had an instinct that something was wrong.”
Francisco said that she has watched her father battle Alzheimer’s for three years.
“One of the hardest things was trying to be patient with him because he’s trying his best. There was one time I remember him pointing to a photo and asking if it was me. And I was like, Yeah, it is,” said Francisco. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was one of my siblings. And we don’t look alike because I’m adopted. So that was probably one of the harder moments.”
Francisco spent 3 days in Washington DC advocating for Alzheimer’s patients to have more access to FDA approved medications. Her goal is to not only spread awareness for the disease, but also make her father proud.