Gordie Howe’s Dementia Fight Personal and Public
Gordie Howe is one of the most public people for the game of hockey, except maybe Wayne Gretzky. With all the years he has spent telling stories and talking about his career and the game changes over the years, he has forged a relationship with hockey fans of every age. This is why this fight needs to be in public as well as private. People know Gordie’s personality, and so they will see the changes and realize what dementia does to a person. Gordie will raise a lot of money on his tour, and he will put a face on what dementia and steal from a person through this tour.
At 83, Mr. Hockey is still in demand and on the move. Gordie Howe is about to embark on another series of fundraisers to support dementia research.
It’s a personal cause. The disease killed his wife, Colleen, in 2009 and is beginning to affect him.
“He’s a little bit worse than last year, but pretty close to about the same,” son Marty said. “He just loses a little bit more, grasping for words.
Howe’s dementia is currently mild and his family members haven’t sought a diagnosis of exactly what kind he has. They did that with Colleen, who died at 76 of Pick’s disease. The rare form of dementia is marked by changes in mood, behavior and personality, followed by memory loss similar to that experienced in Alzheimer’s.
Another son, Murray, a radiologist, says his father’s symptoms don’t fit either Alzheimer’s or Pick’s.
“He has what we call mild cognitive impairment,” Murray said. “His brain power is not what it used to be. In terms of the prognosis and diagnosis, it’s still wide open.”