CT husband with Alzheimer’s proposes to wife of over a decade; wedding planner daughter organizes vow renewal

National News

ANDOVER, Conn. (WTNH) — That first look, the first look; none of it was an actual first for the Marshalls.

In 2018, Peter was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With that, comes good days and bad days.

“In the beginning, he would plateau and then take a big step down,” said Lisa, who first married Peter back in 2009. “Now three years later, he’s declining rapidly and everything is extremely unpredictable at this point.”

Back in December, he was unpredictable in the best possible way.

“He said, ‘Let’s do it!’ and I said ‘do what?’ and he pointed to the TV and I said ‘get married?’ and he said ‘yeah’ and he had this grin on his face. And I said, ‘are you asking me to get married?’ and he said ‘yeah’ and he smiled even bigger and then he said, ’It’s going to be a lot of work.’”

She got out her phone and recorded a video.

“My mantra all along has been ‘no regrets.’ Forget about the dog hair on the floor. Sit on the porch instead,” said Lisa.

So, in the spirit of grabbing joy, her daughter, a wedding planner, help put together a vow renewal in February.

“It was so magical and beautiful,” said Lisa of the renewal. “And the most perfectly perfect part of it was that Peter was so present for so long…This day, he was so sharp and so on and he was so in love with me like the old Peter. It was beautiful.”

WEB EXTRA: Lisa recounts the first time Peter proposed to her back in 2006

Lisa says there is a stigma about Alzheimer’s when there shouldn’t be. So she started her own blog called, “Oh Hello, Alzheimer’s” to raise awareness and funds.  

Lisa is taking part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Hartford on Oct. 3, 2021. Her team: https://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk/?pg=team&fr_id=14357&team_id=661774.

Here are some other Alzheimer’s Association Fast Facts:

  • More than 1 in 9 Americans 65+ are living with Alzheimer’s dementia
  • An estimated 6.2 million Americans 65+ are living with Alzheimer’s dementia
  • The number of Americans diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s (diagnosed before age 65) is much less common.
  • One in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • More than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women.
  • In 2020, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers provided an estimated 15.3 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at $257 billion dollars.

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