Alzheimers doesnt just destroy peoples memories. It slowly destroys their brain functions, and it takes a toll on their loved ones too.

KGUN spoke with a family who is learning to live fully, even while living with the disease.

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Mark Hall remembers telling his wife Debi, when she was first learning to live with Alzheimers, You cant give up on me, cause Im not gonna give up on you.

Mark and Debi have two children and four grandchildren.

We always have been close-knit, said Mark.

Their message to others: Dont live in denial and watch for early signs of Alzheimers.

One of theirs came while playing cards.

The only time I ever won is if she let me. I could never beat her, Mark remembered. And she couldnt follow sequences and suits very well. And that was maybe six months before her diagnosis.

That came in 2020, along with a new reality for the family.

Its a slow, devastating disease and theres no cure for it, said Mark.

KGUN also sat down with their son, Tim.

Theres this idea thats kinda like its kinda like, Oh people are just forgetful and its kinda cute, and its really so much more than that, he said. And its so much worse than just, like, being forgetful.

Communication can be a challenge, and emotions come with it.

The Halls talk about sadness, anger and frustration, especially with the younger kids in the family.

They still get to know [Debi], Tim said of the grandkids. Shes still there. She still remembers things. But its like building those kind of core memories of things that you get to do, things that you get to experience.

We all kind of get cheated. Were all getting cheated. And its tough.

Talking is one way to get through it, with support groups or friends.

Knowing that were not alone, that theres other people out there that are struggling as well [helps], Mark said. Not only with the disease itself, but also with the caretaking piece of it.

The disease only gets worse with time, but Mark says the familys outlook has gotten better.

I told her, says, As you lose memories, were gonna make new memories Were still gonna do the things that you love as long as you can do em, he said.

In the past four years, thats meant a lot of pictures.

Theres not really anything we can do about this, so were gonna have to live the best life we can, now and every day, said Mark.