Gerry Sandusky, left, his wife Lee Ann and their two children Katy and Zack, with Gerry's dad, John Sandusky shortly before his passing.
I was a long distance caregiver, more of a support system, really. My father developed Alzheimer's disease at age 75. His five year decline put a tremendous amount of stress on his wife of fifteen years (my mom, his first wife, had died when he was 60). I lived in Baltimore. He lived in South Florida. I visited with him frequently along with my brothers and sister and we tried to give my father and later my father and his wife as much of a sounding board and place to turn for resources as we could. In hindsight, we were all slow to the dance. We didn't embrace the early stage signs, having never lived through them before. It wasn't until my father started having hallucinations, seeing what he called "the little people" running around his house and taunting him, that I realized the severity of his condition.
Gerry Sandusky is a play-by-play broadcaster of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and author of the book, Forgotten Sundays (Running Press), which follows the life and relationship between Gerry and his father—former NFL tackle John Sandusky and coach for the Baltimore Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins under the tutelage of legendary Coach Don Shula. The book deals with the personal side of life in sports, and the impact Alzheimer’s disease has on millions of families.