Jake Heath woke up this morning after having a nightmare that his mother had died. It was one of those all-too-real dreams that prompted him to take action. "It hit me really hard," he told The Huffington Post in an interview.
It hit home because Jake's mom Jacqueline has been suffering from Pick's Disease, a rare form of dementia, for the last decade. He posted this series of photos on Reddit hoping the glimpse of his mother's battle would raise awareness of the disease, especially when it's early onset.
"You certainly don't want your mom to die at such a young age but we all believe this would have been better rather than a decade of this," he said, adding that the length of his mother's suffering has been the most painful thing. Despite the hardship, Jake, 31, says sharing the story has been therapeutic and he also hopes it will help put a human face on a disease many people don't know much about.
The post has received over 2,300 comments with many people sharing their own stories and offering words of comfort. "I think at this stage I find the most comfort I get is by talking about it. Yes, it's a shit situation," he says. "A lot of the time I wouldn't want to talk about it in the past many years. But now talking about it is much more relieving. It's a conversation that needs to happen."
Check out the photos below to learn what early onset dementia really looks like.
Thanks to the Heath family for sharing their touching story with us all.
EARLIER ON HUFFPOST50:
HuffPost Parents offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Learn more