DETROIT (WWJ) – Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect older people. Even people in their 40’s can be impacted by the devastating disease.

WWJ’s Brooke Allen says one man suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s will be featured at the 31st Annual Chocolate Jubilee Saturday at the MGM Grand Detroit Saturday, to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

It’s a night to raise awareness for the over 180,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Michigan.

John Wood, 47, an artist who is married with a four-year-old child, was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. [Dementia: Sundowning]

“Going through this has been a real challenge for all of us, I think it’s harder on our families than it is for the people that are diagnosed. I don’t remember a lot of the bad things that happened and they do. You know, we want to think about our future, as a 47 year-old hopefully I’m going to be married another 50 years … and to think this may be harder than we thought it was going to be,” said Wood.

He says the support from the greater Michigan chapter is amazing.

“They have services for people throughout the community that are affected by Alzheimer and dementia so it may be something for family members that are caring for someone – it can be for the person themselves,” said Wood.

Wood will be speaking on Saturday night during the event about the support of the organization.

“I’m going to be speaking about my experiences about being diagnosed and what my life was like before I was diagnosed and what my life is like now and how it has changed. And I’d like to share with everyone how important it is to work with the Alzheimer’s Association – how beneficial that has been for my family and for myself.

“By talking with other people that have been through things like this and having counseling and services through the organization – now we realize it’s not the end of anything for us – it’s just a change in direction that we have to adapt to and learn how to deal with our lives in a better way.”

The Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting the 31st Annual Chocolate Jubilee on October 24 at MGM Grand Detroit.

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