Alzheimer's disease

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The new Covenant Inpatient Hospice Center at Sacred Heart Hospital began accepting patients earlier this month.

When the grand opening celebration was held days before, Brian LeBlanc attended as a representative of Covenant.  

WUWF has been following LeBlanc’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease, and so we joined him there.

It was a bittersweet occasion.

Before the ribbon-cutting, LeBlanc worked his way through the crowd gathered for the Open House..

“How you doing friend,” an acquaintance asked. “I’m good; I’m good,” he replied.

Lindsay Myers

Brian LeBlanc of Pensacola was first diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s in 2014, when he was just 54 years old. When WUWF last checked in, LeBlanc shared the fear and anxiety he felt in the past month, when he temporarily lost his ability to speak. Now, we have more of Sandra Averhart’s recent conversation with LeBlanc and UWF Biology professor Dr. Rodney Guttmann, focusing on the medical aspect of the incident and how it relates to Alzheimer’s.

Brian LeBlanc

This past month has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Brian LeBlanc of Pensacola.

Now age 56, LeBlanc was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s nearly two-and-a-half years ago. As part of his advocacy, he’s been sharing his journey with the disease, including his latest setback and triumph involving his ability to speak.

For about a two week period in February, LeBlanc had the words in his head, but could not talk. There were some isolated words, but no sentences would come out.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

A year ago we were introduced to Brian LeBlanc. The Pensacola resident was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s in 2014 and he’s been sharing his story in hopes of raising awareness about the disease.

LeBlanc has been pretty busy lately, especially in November, which is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

On Saturday, November 12, LeBlanc drove himself to Seville Square in downtown Pensacola, where he and others in the community gathered for Covenant Care’s annual Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Brian LeBlanc

Since November of 2015, we’ve been getting to know Brian LeBlanc of Pensacola. He has been diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s. Now in his mid-50's, he has known about his condition for a little over a year now. As we continue our conversation, we focus on how the disease has impacted his daily life and how he’s dealing with it.

“Being this is radio, you can’t see what I’m doing right now, but I’m holding up my cell phone,” said LeBlanc. “That’s my constant companion.”

According to LeBlanc, his phone tells him everything, even when to eat.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

As part of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we are taking some time to get to know Brian LeBlanc of Pensacola, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in October of last year.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5 million people in the U.S., and up to five percent of those have early-onset Alzheimer’s.

In the first of a series of reports, we’ll take a closer look at early-onset Alzheimer’s and we’ll meet a local man, who’s trying to raise awareness by sharing his own story of life with the disease.