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How Alzheimer's Gave This Seattle Woman The Father She Always Wanted

Even as adults, there are moments when we realize we are no longer kids. Oftentimes it hits us when the tables turn and we find ourselves looking after our aging parents.

For Chris Spengler, it was when her father Henry was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Ushering him from doctors' appointments to group homes around Seattle, she was certainly not a kid anymore. At the same time, her father’s disease gave her a much needed sense of closure about her childhood in Brooklyn.

Her father was a tough man who saw his family as there to serve his needs. However, as Henry became dependent on his daughter, his attitude shifted.

In this piece, Chris tells the story of how Alzheimer's gave her the father she always wanted.  She originally told this story for Fresh Ground Stories, a monthly story telling group in Seattle. 

Sound Effect producer Allie Ferguson has been making radio for nearly 5 years. She got her start at KUOW and has since traveled the country working for national news shows including WNYC's The Takeaway and NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Allie won a 2016 Gracie Award, which celebrates women in media, for her work at KUOW. She enjoys telling surprising stories about passionate people.