Help Terry Cue, and other families like his, to provide home care for their loved ones challenged with the late stages of Alzheimer's.
We Need Your Help
This is the story of my beloved Frannie who although still very young is in the late stages of Alzheimer's. We need your help! We need to quickly raise funds in an effort to take care of my wife Frannie. We have spent 100% of our retirement savings and don't know where the money will come from in the coming months. We know we aren't the only family struggling to pay for medical expenses and proper home care. That's why we are interested in using 50% of the funds raised to set up scholarships for families in similar situations.
Thank you for helping us. We will remember each of you in our prayers.
Terry and Frannie Cue
We are happy to share more of our story. Please share it with others throughout the country. Your help is much appreciated!
Frannie and I met...I tell everyone at a bar...it was the salad bar at UNMC.
I was doing Cardiac research and she was working part-time for the SIDS foundation, on campus at that time. We dated for about 2 years...broke up, got back together 5 months later and married about 3 months later. We married on May 7, 1994, so we will celebrate our 20th next May...it is a second marriage for both of us.
When I met her she was working part-time as I stated and also raising a son at home, 15 yrs. old and a daughter 20 at Creighton Univ. She moved from the Sandhills, Ainsworth, NE to Omaha, to be near a brother, Sam, who unfortunately passed away about 10 weeks before we were married.
She was also going to UNO working on an Associates degree in Exercise Science to become a Personal Trainer. She then went onto get that degree and become certified as a trainer. She then trained in Omaha, at the Downtown YMCA and at Better Bodies on 120th. She also then worked at Creighton Univ. in the Career Services Dept. for about 4 years before we moved back to Harlan, IA to be near my kids, as her son moved back home to Ainsworth to live with his dad the last two years of High School. We lived in Harlan for about 4 years until all three of my children graduated. Frannie hated the drive so within a month or so, approached the local Hospital to help revamp their small fitness center. They agreed, hired her and she became their new Fitness Center Director and within 6 months membership had tripled.
At that time I had taken a Job at Streck Labs, as a Product Manager, as the doctor I was working with at UNMC moved back to Vancouver, I was in that capacity for 7 years and then moved over to help establish and manage the New Technical Service Dept. for the next 7 years before being let go to be at home and pursue my Photography Career. I had shared with my boss that Frannie had been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's at age 50, in our 8th year of marriage.
So together we kicked Images by TLC, our photography business into high gear and have not looked back. Our photography is about 75% weddings, and the rest being family portraits, newborns (as we now have 11 grandchildren, between four of our 5 children), High School Seniors, Engagements, various Corporate shoots and at least 3-4 times a year...donate shooting time/photography for cancer fund raisers, Mount Michael Graduation the last 5 years, Brew HA HA and Gala Ball for Habitat for Humanity to mention a few. We love Omaha and Omaha has been so good to us...we feel we must give back...it is the right thing to do.
We have continued to workout regularly at Prairie Life Fitness Center in Midtown since its opening and went to 132nd Street location before that.
6th Stage of Alzheimers
Frannie is now in her 11th year of Alzheimer's and it has been such a blessing to be able to work out of my home and be here with her. She is now in stage 6 of 7 stages...and still here at home...another huge blessing. Her doctor feels very strongly about leaving Alzheimer patients at home as long as possible...if not completely...as long as the caregivers health is not compromised. There is research to show that when these patients go into a home they decrease about 40% faster...that the one on one love and everyday attention is huge in extending the quality of life. I did say to her over 19 years ago that I do, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer ( we have spent all our 401K to care for her and be here together)
and in sickness and in health. I gave a vow not only her but to God...I am not going to forsake that vow. Is is hard work? NO, not when it is someone you LOVE so very deeply...it goes so far beyond that. You see when I see her, especially when I get one of her great smiles...I just melt inside. She is so very beautiful...it is an honor and a privilege to be called her husband.
Besides, she has done so much for me...two very special things she did were over 10 years ago...just after she was diagnosed. She was training herself for a marathon and decided it was time I got into better shape...as my desk job had ballooned me up to 225 lbs at about 25% body fat. So over the next four months she put together a plan and worked out with me...taking off 40 lbs in four months. It was then about 4 months until I turned 50...and just a month before my 50th B-day, she and one of my twins, Serena, approached me with a plan. They had decided (you see Serena, followed in Frannie's footsteps and got an Exercise Science degree from Iowa State Univ.) that I needed to do something really special for my 50th year. Since, I was now 40 lbs lighter and going to the gym regularly, I needed to kick it up a notch.
They had put together an 18 week program, for 9 weeks I was to eat 4,000 calories a day and lift heavy wts. 6 days a week, but NO cardio, then dropped the calories to about 2400 and eat 8 meals a day and shift to light to medium wts. 6 days a week with cardio 4-5 times a week also...as they were entering me into an all Natural Bodybuilding Contest that September...called the Council Bluffs Classic. Well, silly me said yes and we did it.
I was blessed to take a first, second and third...third place being my favorite...as it was all contestants over 6 foot tall...and I beat out a 27 year old...as I was leaner, more defined.
It was a dream come true...I was amazed...and it was all do to my lovely bride Frannie...changing my life forever...maybe even saving it...as my cholesterol use to be sky high...no more.
Well, this year on June 6th, I turned 60, and decided I needed to give back...so am honoring Frannie and doing my second bodybuilding contest on Nov. 9th...the Council Bluffs Classic again...but now it is a little bigger and is held at the Orpheum Theatre downtown here in Omaha,
However, that is not all...I also want to give back again and so am trying to raise money for the contest...for two reason...to help supplement extra caregivers, as I now have to be in the gym about 2-3 hours per day over the next three weeks...but also to take at least 1/2 of it and give it to a few other couples at Christmas, that have also been hit with.....Early Onset Alzheimer's. As I know how much of a financial burden it is...they estimate it cost a family between $18,000 - $36,000 a year in caregivers hours, medical supplies like diapers, wipes, etc, not to mention the medicines and doctor visits, copay, tests, etc. Plus later wheelchair, bathroom aiding devices, etc. throughout your home to make it easier for both of you, as safer for them.
However, with all that said....I would not change a thing...she is my life...I tell her she is my cutie tutie, my hottie tottie, the LOVE of my LIFE.
Each day I ask her two or three times...this little question? Hey Honey, did I tell you today that I Love you? She will stop and think and then most often say, yes you did.
I will respond and say," Well, if I didn't then shame on me...for I do Love You so very very much!" and give her a really big hug.
I try and hold her and hug her in tight at least 4-5 times a day if not more...as I know how very healthy that is to her...especially now in these later stages.
With all that said...I want to thank you everyone that helps us...you are such a blessing. Words cannot express my gratitude.
It is funny and sad how so many people will tell me what a great thing I am doing. And I thank them, then I think, man this is what I am suppose to be doing!
It is so very sad that so many think I am doing something so very special. This is what my Lord wants me to be doing...caring for my loved one. This I feel is what we are all called to do...to step out and practice our faith...to Love they Neighbor as Thy Self...even if that Neighbor is thine wife! We are to die to self...to let go of our selfishness and to serve!
Thank you for helping our family!