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His First Year



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The Women:

Martha (Sr) was trained as an architect, but spent most of her adult life as a caring housewife.  She was very involved in many different community activities, and volunteered as support staff at a local cancer hospital until the last few years of her life.  For decades she cared for her eldest son (who had cerebral palsy) at home, providing for him and enriching his life to the best of her ability, until her own declining physical abilities made that impossible.

Georgia:   A first-generation American, Georgia spent most of her adult life doing payroll and administrative work for several companies.  She won many citations for her work with the IRS, but she maintained that her greatest blessings were her husband and daughter.  She headed many volunteer organizations, played killer games of cribbage and bridge, and loved nothing more than watching classic movies in her spare time.  She would still be doing all these things had her health not declined.


The Men:

Jim Downey:   "I have done and been many things, and if you want to poke around my various biographical profiles and things written by and about me you can probably start to get an overall picture.  But that sounds like an awful lot of work.

"So lets focus on the most relevant bits:  I'm now in my early 50s.  Both of my parents died when I was in early adolescence.  I'm self-employed, had a good education, and I enjoy writing.  I've had enough of a rough & tumble life to have learned a lot of practical medical care.  There's a genetic disease which runs in my family (I don't have it) so I am used to the idea of family care-giving, though I didn't have much personal experience with it previous to the events discussed in this book."

Jim's presence on the web can be found in these locations:

You can contact Jim here.

John Bourke  is a technology professional with more than 20 years of experience working with companies to define, build, document and manage their business technology goals.  He has has written about science, science fiction, caregiving, pets and business technology online, under his name as well as under a pseudonym.  His investigations into medical technology, science, manufacturing, space exploration, underwater systems and economics have fostered a strong interest in renewable and sustainable systems as essential to the future development of civilization on our planet.

He first worked with Alzheimer's patients more than a decade ago, while helping a small startup company that was developing a non-invasive therapy to help reduce the need and use of drugs to calm patients who were in later (but not final) stages of the disease.  This experience provided his only prior exposure to Alzheimer's disease, and while not preparing him for the care-giving role at least gave him what he hoped was a good basic introduction to the experience.

You can contact John here.


Their wives, the daughters:

Martha (Jr):   "I am an architect, and am active in the AIA at the National, State, and Local levels.  I have long been active in various volunteer and artistic activities, including the North American Welsh Choir.  For the last several years I have also been interested in web design and have worked extensively to support Jim's many & varied offbeat 'projects.'  I grew up with a brother who had cerebral palsy, so I was always comfortable with the idea of care-giving at home.  When it became necessary for someone to take care of Mom, it seemed only natural for me to do what I could."

You can contact Martha here.

Kathi Bourke:   A lifelong journal-keeper and storyteller, Kathi Bourke has written extensively on many topics for several websites as well as for her own enjoyment.  Professionally she has worn many hats English teacher, pastry chef, retail supervisor, to name a few.  A trained culinary professional, she is currently a full-time baker/cake decorator.  She lives with her husband, two dogs, and her mother's voice firmly wedged inside her head.

You can contact Kathi here.


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