Rick Phelps was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in June of 2010, at just the age of 57. He lives in Coshocton County, Ohio with his wife Phyllis June, and his family and grandchildren nearby. Rick worked in public safety for 24+ years as a law enforcement officer and an EMT for Coshocton County EMS until this diagnosis forced him into early retirement.
When Rick was given this terrible diagnosis, he again saw the need for action and compassion and took his life saving skills to a whole new level. Using a platform that millions were already familiar with, including himself, he created a support and awareness group on Facebook, called Memory People. He knew there were others that had questions and needed help, as he did. That was in November of 2010. Memory People now has over 12,000 members.
We have members from all over the world, patients and caregivers, professionals and family members, walking this journey together. Each day Memory People gathers in those who need help and hope and gives them the support they need to go another day and take another step on this rough road.
In 2012 he co-wrote the song "While I Still Can" with his long time friend, Dan Mitchell. "While I Still Can" was written as a tribute to all those affected by dementia as it describes the love and loss that has come into his life since his diagnosis. Rick has also released a book, his story, under the same title, which takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride as he describes the years as this disease crept slowly into his life. Rick has become a strong advocate for Alzheimer's Awareness, and he continues to change lives, one person at a time.