The wife of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen says she has Alzheimer's, a disease which led her husband to give up control of the team four years ago.
In an announcement Wednesday, Annabel Bowlen said she wanted to make her diagnosis public right away to help raise awareness about others dealing with it.
Annabel Bowlen says there's no reason for those with Alzheimer's to completely give up their daily activities.
Based on her experience with her husband, she says she knows there will be both good and bad days ahead. Here's her full statement:
“I recently learned that I've joined my husband Pat and the millions of others who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
Since Pat's diagnosis, I have gained a vivid understanding of this disease’s progression and its effect on those living with it as well as their families. My family and I have been—and will remain—dedicated supporters of Alzheimer's awareness, treatment and research funding.
I decided to make my diagnosis public right away in the hope that it continues to raise awareness for those battling Alzheimer's and their loved ones. With June also being Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, the timing was right for me to share this personal update with everyone.
I feel that it is important for people to know that those in my situation do not need to completely withdraw from their daily activities. Based on my own experience with Pat, there will still be many joyous and rewarding moments for me as well as my family and friends.
I intend to proceed in life with the same strength, courage and endurance that Pat has shown in his battle with this disease. Like Pat, I know there will be good days and bad days ahead. I'm grateful to have the support of my family and especially my children—Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.
It's my hope to remain involved in various Alzheimer's events as my health allows. And of course, I'll be cheering on our Broncos.
Most importantly, thank you to all of our incredible fans for the compassion and support you've given to me, Pat and our entire family.”
Her five children say they have been inspired by the strength and courage she has shown while supporting their father and they're confident she will bring the same grace and determination to her fight. Here's their full statement:
“We are fully supportive of our mother and will face her Alzheimer’s diagnosis together as a family.
During the last few years, all of us have been inspired by the strength and courage our mother has shown as she’s supported our father in his own battle with Alzheimer’s disease. We’re confident that she will bring the same grace, compassion and determination to her fight.
In addition to being a loving mother, she has always found ways to positively impact our community. By publicly announcing her illness, we are reminded again of our mother’s commitment to raising awareness and empowering those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
We’ll continue to support our parents, stay strong as a family and do our part to raise awareness for everyone affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”