She Got A Birthday Card From Her Mom, But The Name On It Broke Her Heart

Her story is just one of millions of people who are on the same journey. Watching a loved one deteriorate can be extremely difficult. As strong as caregivers are, sometimes they just need to know they're not alone.

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This is Beth.

This is Beth's mother Marilyn.

7 years ago, Beth noticed that Marilyn wasn't able to balance her checkbook anymore -- something she'd always done.

Beth noticed that Marilyn would return from the grocery store with items she didn't need and had never intended to buy.

One day when Beth was out of town, her sister called with the news. Her mother had a diagnosis: late first-stage Alzheimer's disease.

Having worked on an Alzheimer's unit, Beth knew exactly what was in store for her and her family.

The day after recieving her mother's diagnosis, she opened a birthday card her mother had sent. Her mother had mispelled her own name. Seeing the disease's effect so clearly spelled out was devastating.

That was the beginning of a journey that's all too familiar to so many people.

The facts:

Still, there's hope in the face of Alzheimer's.

Scientists are trying hard to find ways to delay and prevent it. Treatment after early diagnosis might help relieve some symptoms and allow a person to live independently longer. In the meantime, families are focusing on management of the disease. Support groups are there to help them cope. And a little understanding goes a long way.

Watch Beth and Marilyn's story: