Army Veteran’s Genes Have Left Him Battling Early Onset Alzheimer's at 45.

Hero Of The Year Finalist: Matthew Oliver

Hero Of The Year Finalist: Matthew Oliver

Geneva Gives’ Hero Of The Year Finalist, Matthew Oliver

Army Veteran’s Genes Have Left Him Battling Early Onset Alzheimer's at 45.

Meet the first Hero Of The Year Finalist, Matthew Oliver. An Army Veteran, Matt lost his mother, brother and sister to a form of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Then, at the age of 41, he discovered that he too has the irreversible condition.

Last month, Geneva Financial, through its Geneva Gives initiative, launched the inaugural “Geneva Gives Hero Of The Year” awards and grant fund. The annual awards will honor everyday Americans who make a difference in their community, professions of heroism and children facing adversity.

Throughout the month of May, nominations were accepted and finalist were chosen.

Read Matt’s story below, through the voice of his nominator.

Check out the Men’s Health article about his journey HERE

Learn more about the Hero Of The Year Initiative

Hero's Name: Matthew Oliver

Hero's City of Residence: Richardson

Hero's State of Residence: Texas

Eligible Categories:: Veteran or Active Duty

Please describe what makes this individual a TRUE hero:: Matt’s story & background:

Matt is a disabled Army Veteran, a father, a Animal rescuer/transporter, a fighter, & is a amazing man! He went to a geneticist and he was tested/diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. He carries the PSEN1 gene mutation for Early onset Alzheimers. 

Early Onset Alzheimers runs rampant through his mom's side of his family. He's lost his mom (2 possibly 3 of her siblings), his brother, sister, grandma (nine of her siblings), great grandfather, & some cousins have had it or are fighting this horrible terminal disease right now. He was diagnosed at 41, he is 46 now. But he's been having signs/symptoms since he was 35 years old. It goes back four plus generations on his mom's side of his family. His children also have a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene. If they do, it’s a 96% chance that they will become symptomatic also.

He's fought & beat Hodgkins Lymphoma, spinal meningitis, has PTSD, had hernia surgery, his appendix removed, back/leg/knee problems/disabilities from the military, had brain aneurism surgery in 2014, tbi's from jumping in the military & being a civilian contractor overseas, contracted & was treated for TB in the Army, many other things that have happened throughout his life, & now early onset Alzheimers. He's been on both sides as a caregiver for his mom/brother/sister, & now has been diagnosed with this. 

His symptoms have been getting worse over the past few months also. His speech & fine motor skills have been majorly affected & he has progressed. I am his full-time caregiver & also a disabled Veteran.

We live/love each day & make memories. We take each day as they come. We never know when his last day will be & want to make as many memories as we can while we still can. He doesn’t quit! He says if you quit that’s your fate! He isn't ready to leave this world.

He served in Kosovo while on active duty in the Army. He was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C in the 82nd Airborne Division, Hawaii, Germany, & was also a civilian military contractor in the Middle East. At one point he was even a homeless disabled Veteran. 

I would do anything to make him happy & put a smile on his face. When you meet him & just see his contagious smile you just fall in love with him. He's the love of my life & I would do anything for him! 

He wants to bring light/awareness to Alzheimers and Early Onset Alzheimers. We need a cure now & I don't want to lose him. He's such a fighter & inspiration. We participate in the Alzheimer's Walk here in Dallas also.

He still has so many things still left to do, but he is having trouble with many things now. It's heartbreaking! He wants to live more than anything. As you know there is no cure. He is so giving and has a amazing heart. He would do anything for anyone. We need a miracle! #Endalz

Please describe how this individual has impacted the lives and community around them:: See above
He’s a fighter, a inspiration, a advocate for veterans and others fighting Alzheimers, a dog rescuer, a Veteran, father, great boyfriend, & a amazing man.

Link to Video Story (Optional but Preferred): Here are some articles written about Matt. He’s developed aphasia from this disease and can’t speak well now.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5628961/The-father-battling-Alzheimers-45.html

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19852187/early-onset-alzheimers-genetics/

Nominated by: Traci Ward

James Polinori