NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — About 120,000 Tennesseans live with Alzheimer's and thousands more care for a loved afflicted with the disease. No one knows that fact more than Tom Piech from Livingston.
Cheri, his wife of 45 years, died from Alzheimer's two months ago.
In her final months, it had progressed so much, Cheri didn't even recognize her own grandchildren or husband.
With the Alzheimer's Association, he's pushing for a state advisory council that could develop, in part, suggestions to help the thousands of Tennesseans who pay for Alzheimer's care for a loved one out of pocket.
"The transition from spouse to caregiver to caretaker is one of the most difficult things I've ever done -- it's just brutal," Piech said.
Piech says he'll continue fighting for the advisory council, knowing his wife Cheri is looking on.
"She's here," Piech said, clenching a fist in the air. "She's here."