“This day meant so much to me. I have dreamt ever since I was a little girl to have my dad walk me down the aisle. Once my dad got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I didn’t think my dream would come true..."

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“This day meant so much to me. I have dreamt ever since I was a little girl to have my dad walk me down the aisle. Once my dad got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I didn’t think my dream would come true..." image

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Your Generous Gift Today Makes More Moments to Remember Possible!

Resident with Alzheimer's got to Walk his Daughter down the Aisle

Most every girl dreams of her wedding day. The dress, the ceremony, and her father walking her down the aisle are some of the most special moments for a bride. In the case of Paulina Secory, Alzheimer’s disease stole that dream from her.

In 2015, Paulina’s father, Mick - now a resident at Perry Lutheran Homes - was diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the young age of 57. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is rare, and accounts for only five percent of all people with Alzheimer’s. Two years after his diagnosis in 2017, Mick moved into Perry Lutheran Homes, to be part of the special care we provide here for men and women with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

As families of loved ones with dementia do, Mick’s family continued to watch the cruel disease take hold. More and more memories lost and additional health worries appeared. In the midst of this darkness, life continued to happen for Mick’s family. One recent bright light was the engagement of Mick’s daughter, Paulina, to fiancée Chance Chambers. Wedding planning began and a wedding date was set for April 29, 2022. But, buried in those happy moments for Paulina was the realization that her father may not be able to walk her down the aisle. Mick’s health, due to Alzheimer’s complications, was declining rapidly.

Mick is currently living in St. John’s memory care neighborhood which is one of two innovative and award-winning memory care communities focusing on life-skills stimulation and sensory-connected living.

Paired with our unique, person-centered IdentitE model of care, our staff work every day to create special moments to remember for each resident to give purpose and meaning, to reconnect with memories past, and to help them live and thrive and bring joy to the present.

Our goal is not only to provide great care, but to also create moments to remember for our residents and their families.

“We appreciate you (the Perry Lutheran Homes team) so much for the care and love that you all have shown for Mick. You have never given up on him or any of your other residents. There are no words to describe how appreciative we are,” expresses Laura McAtee, Mick’s good friend, caregiver and former wife.

When Tonya Swank, our Director of Guest Experience, learned of Paulina’s engagement, she began thinking about how to help Mick be a part of that special moment of which fathers and daughters both dream. And it needed to happen before the planned wedding date in April. The idea of a wedding blessing ceremony, held at Perry Lutheran Homes' beautiful chapel was presented to Mick’s family. With a resounding “yes,” the planning began.

The special wedding blessing ceremony took place on Saturday, December 4 at the chapel on Perry Lutheran Homes Eden Acres Campus. Chaplain Rev. Max Phillips lead the ceremony, and Perry Lutheran Homes staffer members were there to help make the event special and memorable with flowers, music, refreshments and more. Mick and daughter Paulina had so many special moments that day; including the traditional father and bride walk down the aisle. There were smiles, laughter and tears of joy. Although Alzheimer’s has taken over her father, in those special moments, everything was perfect. Paulina had the dress, the ceremony, and most important of all, she had her father.

“This day meant so much to me. I have dreamt ever since I was a little girl to have my dad walk me down the aisle. Once my dad got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I didn’t think my dream would come true. God is truly so good, and I am so blessed that my dad was able to walk me down the aisle. This is a day I will remember forever,” shares Paulina Secory.

Your love and care, expressed through your generous charitable gifts - especially at year's end - make this kind of special care possible.

Your help is needed.

Make your most generous gift today to help reach our year-end fundraising goal of $60,000, and stay tuned to hear more stories of special care and moments to remember for special people which will unfold throughout the New Year!