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Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey, 60

Richmond, Virginia

Photo Credit: Gregg Segal

"Bill's Alzheimer's has challenged me to be a better person, to find more hours, to make a difference. I now understand that every day, every minute counts." -Kitty Kennedy, wife

A lifelong research scientist, Bill realized there was something wrong when, while presenting a paper, he suddenly could not defend his thesis. At 57, he could no longer work. With the help of his wife, Kitty — the high school sweetheart he'd reconnected with and wed, 30 years after they'd lost track of each other — he decided when it was time to move to assisted living. He only set two conditions: He had to bring along his beloved cat, Steve, and he had to continue to get the Sunday New York Times. "The name plate on his room reads: 'Bill Bailey and Steve,'" says Kitty. "I believe it has helped with his transition. He also has a multi-tiered bird feeder right outside his window, which has become Steve's wide-screen TV." Bill is rapidly approaching the middle stages of Alzheimer's, but for now, on some days he walks 20 miles, finding his way home with a GPS device. He has had to give up tending to the little stretch of roadway he'd volunteered to keep litter-free, a length identified by official signs with words he dictated himself: "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?"
Frank J. Yuvancic 

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