About Tony Copeland-Parker
When Anthony Copeland-Parker and his partner Catherine were in their 50’s, they found out that she had early-onset Alzheimer’s and he needed open heart-valve replacement surgery. They both had a history as endurance athletes, so, motivated by a love for running and travel, they sold their home, retired from their jobs, and became nomads, running marathons and half-marathons all over the world.
They’ve spent the last 7 years flying, running, walking, sailing, and sightseeing from Atlanta to Antarctica, finding joy in seizing each day and following their passions while trying to outrun Alzheimer’s.
Tony was a professional pilot/manager for 37 years, the last 27 with United Parcel Service. His last job had him managing pilots and flying B757/767-type aircraft all over the world. Since then, he and Catherine, whom he tenderly calls Cat, have traveled to 82 different countries. They have run at least a half-marathon in 35 countries and on all seven continents.
Tony shares his story on his blog, Running with Cat.com and in his book, Running All over the World: Our Race Against Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
In this episode we talk about the choice he made to keep an active lifestyle traveling the world instead of following the much often recommended advice to provide Catherine with a stable schedule and environment, how Catherine responds to having a new adventure in a new place every few days, traveling with a loved one with dementia, and how he’s had to come to terms with the fact that one day their travels will come to a natural end.
AlzAuthors co-founder and manager Jean Lee, author of Alzheimer’s Daughter, joins us.
After the podcast
Read Tony’s AlzAuthors post:
Start reading Running All over the World: Our Race Against Early Onset Alzheimer’s, now!
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Tony appeared in our Virtual Q&A Love Stories: Keeping Romance Alive in Dementia Care
Connect with Tony
About the Podcast
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AlzAuthors: Untangling Alzheimer's & Dementia
Welcome to the AlzAuthors podcast! We’re so glad you found us. We are the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer's and dementia from personal experience to light the way for others. Join us each week as one of our authors shares their dementia journey, revealing intimate details and painfully obtained knowledge to help others currently on this path. We hope our stories offer comfort and support as we strive to break the silence and stigma surrounding a dementia diagnosis. May one of our authors speak to your experience. For more info please visit https://alzauthors.com.
Meet Our Hosts
Marianne Sciucco is a registered nurse, dementia daughter, and author of the novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, based on a couple she met through her work. It is a testament to the power of love in the face of this heart-wrenching disease. Marianne cared for hundreds of dementia patients over a 20+-year nursing career. She provided care to her stepfather during his dementia journey, and witnessed the painful decline of four beloved aunts to the disease. She's a founding member of AlzAuthors, sits on the Board, and is a director and manager. She can talk about AlzAuthors all day.
Christy Byrne Yates is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP), retired school psychologist, author, speaker and coach/consultant. Her book, Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich Generation recounts her journey as a working mother of two who also managed the care of her parents, both of whom had some form of dementia. Combining her lived experience with her professional expertise in human development, wellness and a strengths based approach to finding solutions, Christy develops content, workshops and coaching to support Sandwiched families. She incorporates meditation, mindfulness and other evidence based mind/body practices into her work. She’s worked with care communities, financial professionals, estate planners and employers. Christy has a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and graduate credentials in both education and school psychology.
AlzAuthors is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization totally reliant on donations to do what we do. The podcast is one way we provide knowledge, comfort, and support to busy caregivers desperate for information. Your generosity will help us to continue our mission to lift the silence and stigma that often accompanies a dementia diagnosis. Please consider making a donation. Thank you.