“Dream Car” Helping to Raise Alzheimer’s Awareness
Vision Becomes Reality at Local Hospital
(Fort Myers, Fla. - April 20, 2017) – Dan Summers’ vision to help increase awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and support for caregivers has become reality – it’s a 1968 Jaguar XLE painted purple and gold, with “Alzheimer’s Awareness” emblazoned in gold on each side. Just as Dan envisioned, it’s on display in the lobby of Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, and every day, hundreds of visitors and staff are getting the message. He had the vision of the painted car sitting in the hospital lobby when he was visiting his wife, Joan, when she was patient a few years ago.
The Jaguar was Dan’s dream car; his wife, Joan, wanted him to have a brand new one. At that time, Dan thought the idea was too self-indulgent. But in 1979, when his business was doing well and his children were older, Dan bought his dream car (a used, white one) and planned to spend his golden years cruising in the ragtop with Joan. In 2000, Joan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and Dan has been caring for her, in their home, ever since. “It’s difficult to take care of someone every day and night,” he says, “But that’s what we decided, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. I just want more people to know what Alzheimer’s can do to marriages and families, and how hard it is on the caregivers.”
Purple is the color designated for Alzheimer’s awareness; the gold trim symbolizes the loss of golden years spent actively with Joan by his side.
“I would like nothing better than to see it on the front lawn of the capital building,” Dan says. “We need our legislators to know that we (caregivers) need help!”
The car will be on display for the next two weeks at Gulf Coast Medical Center.