Real Life Story of Healing and Overcoming Alzheimer’s…

Overcoming Alzheimer’s

A New Life for Wally…

Barbara Derrick, Ph.D. |


Editor’s Note: This is a true story. Wally’s story also appeared in the July/August 2004 issue of Venture Inward [1], and his case history was presented at the 8th Annual Edgar Cayce Health Symposium in September, 2003


Wally Decker is a widower who had cared for his wife of 52 years prior to her death. Though he was in his late 70s at the time, he took part in aerobics regularly and danced whenever he could find a partner. Like the hurricane that had once devastated the area around his South Carolina home, a storm arrived in Wally’s life in 2002 at age 80. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He saw this diagnosis as a fate worse than death. For most of his life he had enjoyed perfect health. His Christian Science faith had sustained him through years clear of the usual maladies that plague most of us. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even have a regular physician until he reached the age of 67. Now, his diagnosis presented him with a disaster worse than an ordinary lifetime’s accumulation of illnesses. Wally’s symptoms manifested as confusion, short term memory forgetfulness, and trouble with directional information causing him to go off in the wrong direction. His cognitive ability was diminishing also.

Case Study

When Wally called to tell me a clinical psychologist had diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s the tremor in his voice told me how defeated he felt. Aside from delaying the progress of the disease, medical science offered little hope. He had been told that nothing had been found to cure the disease.

About that time I just happened to be at the same place as David McMillin, M.A., program director at the Health and Rejuvenation Research Center (HRRC), a division of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) an organization that researches the body-mind-spirit connection and the readings of Edgar Cayce. [2]

David McMillin shared with me that the HRRC had just acquired a grant for an Alzheimer’s research project to be titled, Suggestive Therapeutics Treatment and Protocol. The grant was funded by a private donor whose mother died from complications of Alzheimer’s. After the protocol was formulated, slots would be open for those who qualified. One of the primary requirements for participation in the project was to have a medical doctor attest that a patient had Alzheimer’s. The project’s approach, focusing on assisting the body to heal itself, seemed to be a good match with Wally’s early training in Christian Science. Our first step therefore was to get Wally’s neurologist to attest that he had Alzheimer’s.

When Wally and I went to his neurologist and explained the Suggestive Therapeutic Treatment Plan, however, his initial response was, “I don’t believe in such stuff. And I don’t want my name associated with anything like this.” After some persistence on my part and hesitation on his part, the neurologist finally filled out the report and signed it.

We needed reports not only from physicians, but from family and friends who were asked to record their assessment of Wally’s behavior. With my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and my psychotherapy practice I was also qualified to make certain assessments. I completed the reports and submitted all the color-coded papers. If requirements were met Wally could be a candidate for the Suggestive Therapeutics Treatment Plan and Research Protocolprogram.

As we waited for word of acceptance to the project, Wally began having doubts. Part of the program protocol required that he have a massage daily. This posed a challenge as he did not have anyone at home to do this and he could not imagine finding a massage therapist who could massage him each day. I advised him to wait for the decision of selection for READ MORE:

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