Early onset Alzheimer's patient becomes spokesman for disease

Alan Romatowski was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007, when he was just 56 years old. The Pennsylvania airline pilot was forced to retire from his job that same year, so he moved onto a position at Costco and volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

Unfortunately, this September, Romatowski was told that it was no longer safe for him to drive. This ended his time at Meals on Wheels and also took away the joy he experienced from riding his motorcycle.

Early onset Alzheimer's patient becomes spokesman for disease He is now bracing for the downward progression of Alzheimer's, which takes five to 10 years to fully develop.

At the same time, Romatowski has become determined to battle the disease in any way that he can. He has become a spokesman for a regional Alzheimer's Association council and has proven that those who have the condition can still contribute to society.

While his wife, Josie, has sometimes become overwhelmed by the responsibilities of Alzheimer's care, the family has worked hard to be supportive and adapt to the circumstances.

Recent research has suggested that minor habits, such as replacing butter with vegetable oil and quitting cigarettes, can greatly reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer's, according to CBS News.

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