A photo of a Mt. Juliet man holding his wife with dementia went viral last week. The tweet has amassed more than 118,000 retweets and 620,000 likes since Friday.
Kelli Taylor tweeted a picture of her father, Stan Feener, holding her mother, Phyllis, with a caption that seemed to resonate with thousands online.
“My parents have been married for 34 years,” the tweet read. “My mom is in the final stages of young onset dementia (diagnosed 5 years ago at 53). My dad cares for her full-time. She doesn’t always remember his name but she knows she is safe with him. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.”
According to the family’s GoFundMe page, Phyllis was diagnosed in 2013 with a subtype of dementia, young-onset dementia. Fortunately Stan’s job allows him to work from home and care for his wife, with the help of friends and family.
The family set up a GoFundMe page in May 2017 to help with medical and home care costs. The fundraising goal was $13,000 which would cover much of the home care costs for a year. As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraising total has surpassed the original goal and is now at more than $21,000.
Since the tweet went viral, the page has seen a jump in donations. Nearly 400 donations have been made for the family.
There is currently no cure for dementia, only medications that could potentially slow its progression. According to the GoFundMe page, Phyllis is unable to perform simple tasks, communicating her thoughts, and often forgets the names of family members.
The page, set up by Kelli, also serves as a way to educate people on the effects of the disease.
To read more about Phyllis’ story or to donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/phyllisdementiafund.