OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — “My mother is 62 years old.  She was diagnosed at 58 and so to me that’s probably, you just never think that something like this would happen to your mother, especially at 58 you know” said Mario Matthews. 

His mother, Kathy Grant has dementia at 62 years old. He knows the unpredictable, silent destroyer we call Alzheimer’s all too well. As his mother’s full time caregiver he lives it every minute of every hour of every day.

“My average day consist of getting my mom up from bed , changing her clothes, changing her Depends, changing all new clothes, getting her vitamins, getting her meal, breakfast for the day then making sure she is also taking her medication, also drinking plenty of water. I’m also in charge of bathing her.  I also provide all meals breakfast lunch and dinner for her” says Mario.

 And this all happened to Kathy, the matriarch of this loving family, in just 48 months.

 “When you see your mom being such and independent and dynamic woman and then all of a sudden all of it is stripped away from her, it’s heartbreaking” says Mario

 Mario has tee shirts, designed by a sibling, ready for the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s, engulfed in a purple sea of support by those who understand their plight.

 “It’s a full-time job” says Mario. “It’s very draining, mentally and physically.  It can be a lot because you’re watching  your mom deteriorate.”

Kathy is blessed to have a devoted family and a son with such character, patience and strength as her caregiver.  Mario knows the road ahead is going to be tough. “This exists and you can’t take it backwards” says Mario.  “You have to deal with it now and knowing what you are going to be dealing with forward.”

But even through all the challenges, Mario is still learning life lessons from his precious mother.

“My mom has always been a loving woman with a very open heart” says Mario. She’s always approached that with life so I try to take that approach in life with gratitude, love and light and I constantly want to produce that with the people around me and showing them that I care about them and showing them love.  it is important because you never know what’s going to happen.”

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday, October 22.

You can find out more information here.