Rick and Melanie Creel
After noticing some initial short-term memory deterioration issues in late 2020, Melanie received an initial diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, which is within the Dementia spectrum. With that diagnosis, medication was started and all baseline testing was done, including brain scans, comprehensive neuro-cognitive evaluations and blood sampling. Just over a year later, she repeated these tests in April of this year (2022) at the age 55, and received the new diagnosis of Major Neuro-Cognitive Disorder which is synonymous with Full Dementia, due to Early-Onset Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. After this devastating diagnosis, Melanie’s husband, Rick, decided to resign his VP role at East-West and is searching for a less intensive role that will allow him the time needed to care for Melanie. Melanie is still employed, but is so, under accommodations that Rick has collaboratively worked on with Melanie’s employer. This employment continuation is a therapeutic strategy that is recommended by her medical team and the tenure of her employment is uncertain. Melanie is under the care of 3 doctors and therapists who are seeking to delay the devastating effects of this currently incurable disease. Melanie’s Doctor’s visits, treatments and therapies will be ongoing with some medical costs that will not be covered by insurance. Still unclear is the loss if income, travel costs for medical care and testing, and hopeful new care that may become available in the future. Melanie and Rick have two adult children that are married. Their daughter and her husband live in Houston, Texas, while their son and his wife reside in Chicago, Illinois. A quote from Rick, “Our Lord holds our future and we feel his presence strongly around us each day. We know he is our source of healing, comfort, resources,encouragement and strength. Melanie is the love of my life! We just celebrated 35 years of marriage on March 14th and we are trusting him to give us decades more. Stay tuned…God is not finished with us yet!”
Rick & Melanie cling to their faith in God who is helping them endure this trial by sending aid and comfort. One of God’s promises they are leaning into daily is found in Jeremiah 29:11, (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
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