07/11/2019 - Alzheimer's advocate and sufferer Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling-Hummel will be preaching at our worship service on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Hamden Presbyterian Church on Rt. 10 , Hamden.
Huling-Hummel was a Presbyterian minister in Waverly when she realized that something was wrong when she couldn't remember how to get to a cemetery to conduct a graveside service. She spent several years seeking a diagnosis to her memory issues. In 2011, Huling-Hummel was diagnosed with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment, a progressive, degenerative brain disorder that can be a precursor to full-blown Alzheimer's disease. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. This brought to a close one chapter of her life- her time as a parish pastor- and opened another.
She was chosen as a member of the National Alzheimer's Association Early-Stage Advisory Group, which helps raise awareness of Alzheimer's, reduce stigma and advocate for increase research funding. Her membership in the council gives voice to the 5.7 million Americans who live with the disease. She is in a clinical trial and speaks at meetings for Alzheimer's patients, churches and in January spoke at the quarterly meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services in Washington, D.C. She was recently appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services.
In addition to her speaking engagements, Huling-Hummel has written a book, "UnMasking Alzheimer's: The Memories Behind the Masks." It is a collection of photographs of approximately 36 masks that she has created to tell her story of Alzheimer's. During her talk in Hamden, she will show some of these masks. She will also have copies of her book available for purchase.
Following the worship service, there will be a potluck luncheon in the Hamden Community Hall located behind the church where she will tell the story of her journey with Alzheimer's. Her masks will be on display and you are welcome to ask her any questions you might have. Everyone is invited to worship and the potluck luncheon. Please bring a dish to pass if you are able. If you unable to do so, come and be our guest.