16 Salutes: Maryan Daily

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DALLAS -- If you know anyone with Alzheimer's disease, you know the illness can be a daily struggle for both the patient and the caregiver.

"We actually met in Philadelphia and believe it or not, we got on the same trolley car together."

Memories are all Maryan Daily of Dallas has left of her husband John.

"I still love him and think of him. But you know what? He would kill me if he knew everything I had done in his name, for him, to honor him," said volunteer Maryan Daily.

Maryan keeps his name and memory alive here at the Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dallas.

"This is where my husband stayed, and after he passed on, I decided to come down and volunteer here because the people are phenomenal," said Daily.

The thief that took John from Maryan: Alzheimer`s. The disease robbed him of his memories for eight years and eventually took his life in 2004.

While she was caring for John, Maryan had no one to turn to.

"That`s why I started the support group," said Daily.

Maryan started the group at the Meadows nine years ago.

"Well my main concern now is for you because you are so worn down."

"This is her life, I think. She is so good to everyone. We all need a Maryan in our lives," said Linda Martin of Harveys Lake.

Martin met Maryan four years ago.

"I was talking to the beautician about Alzheimer`s and my husband`s condition and Maryan was sitting next to me, and she heard the word Alzheimer`s, and she said `Did you say Alzheimer`s?'"

Maryan meets with Alzheimer`s caregivers once a month.

"You need somebody to talk to because it is a disease that really affects the whole family," said Martin.

"You know that you`re losing your partner, but if you know how to work with that person, you can, on occasion, see that person come back," said Daily.

Memories are all Maryan Daily has left of her husband John. Memories were the first thing John lost, but Maryan says she`ll keep holding on by helping others.

"If I want something and I want it for my support group, and I want it for the Alzheimer`s caregivers, I go for it, And that`s my main purpose in life," said Daily.

And that's why we think Maryan Daily deserves a 16 Salute.