SAN ANTONIO — Retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Nia Mostacero was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer's at age 42.
"I really wish people would understand it's not an elderly disease, it's not based off your color or gender or economically where you're from- it is a brain disease and we all have one," Mostacero said.
Her condition affects nearly 200,000 Americans, all 65 or younger- part of 50 million people worldwide with Alzheimer's ore a related form of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association hopes to support finding a cure for those conditions with its fund-raising walk on October 19th.
"It's not just memory," Mostacero said. "There are other things also that people struggle with- coordination, being confused, speech, there's a lot of things your brain atrophy affects."
Every donation supports research and resources to serve caregivers and people with Alzheimer's, like Mostacero, who is still serving while living with the condition.
"I'm also retired military- you give your energies where they need to be," Mostacero said. "While I can I'm going to everything I can so I can survive, so my son can survive, most importantly, my son is engaged- I want to see my grandbabies, I want to know my grandbabies, while I can I'm going to fight- to know I did what I can while I can."
To join the Walk to End Alzheimer's, click here.
RELATED: Walk To End Alzheimer's