A determined Alzheimer’s sufferer fights the disease with the sound of music – dancing around his living room to he and his wife’s favorite songs despite his deteriorating memory.
Donald Bergner, 83, has forgotten almost everyone including children, friends, neighbors and grandkids, but the one person he remembers is wife Joanie, who he connects to through music and dance.
Filmed in the couple’s home in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, Donald dances around to the sounds of old-time favorites, such as those of Glen Miller and other big-band classic.
He has been suffering with Alzheimer’s for 11 years, and over the past five years his memory has deteriorated far more rapidly.
Donald’s granddaughter Sophia Bergner, who shot the uplifting video, revealed moments like this provide a sense of triumph over adversity.
Many times, Joanie, 81, has walked in on Donald dancing to old-time favorites and uses it as a way to help her cope with the disease, too, sometimes dancing together.
Sophia said: “My grandpa has late stage Alzheimer’s and the only person he remembers is my grandma.
“Beautifully enough, his brain holds on to valuable memories from long ago – one being music that he and my grandma used to dance to and enjoy.
“My grandma has been his sole caretaker throughout this entire journey, consistently pouring herself out for him to have the best quality of life possible.
“Though times have been trying for so long, my grandpa manages to make us smile in so many ways.”
One particular clip Sophia shared was where Joanie walked in on Donald dancing to Ray Anthony’s take on “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.”
Sophia decided to share the moment as a way of understanding “no matter how challenging life gets, there is always a reason to stop and smile, or find joy in the little things.”
Sophia added: “My grandpa loves my grandma very much; he remembers her most days and remembers their favorite tracks, as seen in these clips.”
(Story courtesy of T&T Creative Media)