Jennifer's Heroes: Ward Campbell

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

September 24, 2009

Ward Campbell's wife, Peggy, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease ten years ago, and she now stays in an assisted living facility. Despite the distance, the relationship between Ward and his wife is stronger than ever thanks to Ward's love that never wavers.

"They're just a lovely couple and you can see that they've had a lot of love," said Anette Putman, of Morningside Assisted Living.

Peggy Campbell may not remember what day or what month it is or even that her dancing partner is her husband of more than 45 years, but when the music plays, she remembers how much she loves to move.

"She was always a good dancer. She took dancing as a child and always did her little things at dancing school," said Ward Campbell.

Ward and Peggy is a loving couple that is coping with Alzheimer's. Ward says it was ten years ago that Peggy started acting a little strange. Peggy was unable to put on or take off her clothes, and in Ward's words Peggy "couldn't do one thing."

Ward took care of Peggy for seven-and-a-half years before it got to be too much. Peggy was up and down all night, every night, and seven days a week. Now, Morningside Assisted Living is where Peggy calls home, and Ward pays frequent visits.

"You have to be strong or else you become depressed. I don't like living by myself, which is what I'm doing right now. I'm alone. I don't like it, but you find things to do," said Ward.

The Alzheimer's Association is one of those things. Ward stays very involved with the association, helping lead the others from his experience with the disease.

"When we have families that come in that are not familiar with Alzheimer's, we often direct them to Ward. Mr. Campbell has just done remarkably well helping others," said Putman.

Peggy's smiling face is the one thing that keeps Ward strong, holding out hope that there will one day be an answer for Alzheimer's.

On Saturday, September 26th about 1,000 people in our area will gather for the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. You can bet that Ward will be in attendance, and if you would like to join us, registration is at 8am at the Double Tree Hotel on Route 29 in Charlottesville.

As always, if you know a hero, shoot Jen an email and you could see your hero featured on CBS19.

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