Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that affects the memory, thinking, and behavior of an individual. It can be debilitating. As the disease progresses, it can become difficult to perform routine tasks like feeding oneself, getting dressed, and leading the same lifestyle that one has grown used to.
Alzheimer's sufferers often rely on family members and loved ones to assist them in everyday life, but one former high school basketball coach is getting help from a man whom he used to coach.
Jack Aldridge coached boy's basketball at Waxahachie High School in Texas for 34 years, and in that time he won 728 games and took his team to four straight championship games. Unfortunately, Aldridge does not have any memory of those glory days.
So one of his former pupils, Greg Gober, who played for Aldridge in the early 1980s, is now taking an active role in looking after his former coach. Gober has now driven twice to Abilene, Texas, where Aldridge now lives in an assisted-living community, to visit his former coach and take him to watch his son play basketball.
Gober said Aldridge, who was married for more than 30 years but had no children of his own, treated his players as if they were his own kids. Apparently, Gober remembers the kindness and guidance that Coach Aldridge showed him. Now, he wants to reciprocate and encourage other families to interact with those who they know are in need of help.
Gober spoke to ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas, Texas, about the time he spends with his former coach. "I want people to just not be ashamed of it and really try to do something for their loved ones or people they care about before it's too late," he said. Gober hopes that by sharing his story he will be able to raise awareness about the disease, the strides that have been made toward finding a cure, and the importance of helping those in need.