Several years ago, Scott Duncan’s family began to notice their father was forgetting things and acting odd.
“Mom noticed his forgetfulness, and he had difficulty paying the bills. He was always the one in charge of our finances,” said Sarah, one of Duncan’s twin daughters. “He was acting childish and started fights about simple things like where to eat.”
The unsual behavior gradually grew worse, and in 2013, Duncan, a retired businessman, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
After hearing the news, the Duncan family sought advice from the Alzheimer’s Association — North Central Texas Chapter and started attending a Friday group in Fort Worth, a program for those with early stage Alzheimer’s.
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We knew our father may not be alive for our future wedding, so we decided to capture the poignant moment before it was lost forever.
“The association is the biggest help for someone newly diagnosed, and it helped my mom so much to have a place to go to when she needed answers,” Sarah Duncan said.
The family, including Scott Duncan’s wife, Pamela, has been active with the local chapter, and in October the twin sisters — Becca and Sarah — will serve as honorary co-chairs for Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Northeast Tarrant County.
While the sisters are proud of their work with the Alzheimer’s Association, they wanted to do more for their family on a personal level.
So on a hot July afternoon dressed in donated white lace wedding gowns, the 23-year-old twins stood beside their father and posed for wedding photos. Though no wedding plans are on the horizon, the twins wanted to have the photos for future use — and just in case their 80-year-old father is no longer here.
“We knew our father may not be alive for our future wedding, so we decided to capture the poignant moment before it was lost forever,” Becca said.
It was very emotional, especially after we put on our dresses.
Said Sarah: “It was very emotional, especially after we put on our dresses.”
Family friend and professional photographer Lindsey Rabon said it was the most unusual request she ever received for a photo shoot.
“I knew it would be something they could have at their wedding to show that he’s with them, even if he’s not there,” Rabon said.
While their father lives in a healthcare center in Keller, the twins live at home in Grapevine, which allows them to assist as caregivers for their dad and help out their mom at home. Pamela Duncan is a teacher at Heritage Elementary School in Colleyville. The sisters also attend classes at Tarrant County College.
“We had to put our lives on hold,” Sarah said. “I would’ve been graduated by now with a job, but I don’t regret it or resent it. We had to do to it to take care of dad.”
If you go
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, according to Elizabeth Sehon Harris, spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association — North Central Texas Chapter.
The chapter serves 40 counties area and has walks beginning next month:
Sept. 17 in Abilene at Rose Park Senior Center
Sept. 24 in Weatherford at Weatherford College
Sept. 24 in Wichita Falls at Bud Daniel Park
Oct. 1 in Arlington at UTA Maverick Activity Center
Oct. 8 in Grapevine at Church of the Cross
Oct. 8 in Waco at Indian Spring Park
Oct. 22 in Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavillion
Information, registration: www.alz.org/northcentraltexas/