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Couple continues to make memories despite wife dealing with Alzheimer’s

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DULUTH, MN. -- Love conquers all.

That's the message of a North Dakota couple, who received a painful diagnosis five years ago.

Five years ago, Lisa Millsap was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.

"She was doing very well for many years, and within the last, about 8-10 months it's definitely changed quite a bit," said Mel Millsap, Lisa's husband.

A year ago, she was walking, and dancing, now Lisa relies on Mel for everything.

"It's been good that I get to spend this much time with her, but it's also rough, but it's rougher on her than it is me," said Millsap.

However, some things haven't changed.

Including their love for the outdoors, which includes a trip to the Northland, specifically the Upper Peninsula to see the beautiful fall colors.

"We've always been very active as a couple in the outdoors, it's something we have always done and we are going to do it for as long as we can," said Millsap.

And it will be a family affair this time around, with their closest loved ones joining them.

"It's priceless. It's amazing. Couldn't ask for more. It's going to be something that we will be really glad we did I guarantee it," said Millsap.

As for their care consultant back in North Dakota, she says something like this shows how much love they truly have for one another.

"He is just so much in love with her still. He wants to carry on and do the things they plan on doing before the diagnosis happened," said Audrey Williamson, a social worker with Alzheimer's Organizations.

Which goes a long way for someone struggling with Alzheimer's.

"I love to see that because I think it brings hope and that's why I think it's so important that they are doing this," said Williamson.

Before the pandemic, Lisa was able to attend an adult care facility while Mel went to work.

But once the pandemic hit, Lisa couldn't go anymore, so Mel left work behind, to become Lisa's primary caregiver.

Their family urges that if you know someone dealing with a disease, consistently check in on them and their caregivers to see how you can brighten their days, and make life a little easier and happier for them.

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Ryan Compeau

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