Running creates lasting memories for family of Denver man with Alzheimer’s

DENVER -- For the past few months, a Denver man has been preparing for the challenge of a lifetime.

He is preparing to run his first marathon while battling early onset Alzheimer's.

His symptoms have been worsening but thanks to his wife and a Craigslist ad, Tom Kerrigan is close to achieving his dream.

Kerrigan was diagnosed with the disease six years ago ; he is now 53 years old.

His wife, Ann told us, “He is having more and more difficulty learning how to use everyday items to take care of himself and that goes from to soap to deodorant to toothpaste to putting on socks."

Which is why she wasn’t sure what she would do Tom told her he wanted to run a marathon.

The love of her life was asking for the impossible.

Ann said, “It's hard to watch that process. It's hard to watch him slowly losing what was once himself."

Kerrigan’s condition has been worsening and it's been tough on his young children.

Ann said, "It's hard to watch the relationship change and they're not seeing him as the dad that I know he would have been - that might be the hardest part."

So, Ann went on a mission. She was determined to find someone to help her husband achieve his dream.

It was through a Craigslist ad, that she found Eugene Yoon.

Yoon told us, “There are times when he'll forget where we are. We'll be running with the dog, often times and when I'm running with the dog, he won't know it's right next to him."

Ann said he forgets an awful lot. But if there's something that has deep emotional meaning, that sticks with him. And the running brings him so much happiness that he literally wakes up and says 'When I am running with Eugene?'"

Ann had scored gold with her sweetheart. She said, “He's more focused. He connects better with the kids after a big run and that is such a blessing - we are lucky to have that."

Yoon said, "I have learned so much from Tom because he's taught me that no matter what our circumstances are, that we can still surpass them."

Kerrigan has not yet signed up for a specific marathon, but will run one later this summer.

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