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Remembered: The Alzheimer's Photography Project
The Alzheimer's Project: Teresa Harfield

— Gregg Segal

Teresa Hartfield, 84
Pasadena, California


"Where's my husband?" asks Teresa. The person she's asking is Bill, her husband of 64 years (and a bladder cancer survivor). Diagnosed when she was 67, Teresa's Alzheimer's has progressed surprisingly slowly. Bill has been caring for her at home all this time, watching her gradual decline — as have their nine children, ages 47 to 62. Those kids were her life's great passion, but not her only achievement: In her late 50s, after the last one moved out, Teresa went back to school, earning a double master's degree in theology and marriage and counseling. She worked in a mental clinic, then started serving as a volunteer counselor at a grammar school. About three years later, more severe memory problems arose. A staunch Catholic, Teresa was nevertheless unafraid to let the priest know when she thought he was wrong. Likewise, she was never one to blindly assume her children were perfect. Says Bill, "If a teacher sent a note home and Teresa found out her children were wrong, God help them!"

— Frank J. Yuvancic

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The Alzheimer's Photography Project: Teresa Hartfield

AUDIO: Photographer Gregg Segal shares more about this photo.

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