January 9, 1991

Margo's Logo

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

New York, NY

JAMA. 1991;265(2):201. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460020055013

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If she stands as straight as she can, Margo measures nearly five feet tall. Ordinarily, though, her spine assumes the curve of her wooden rocking chair, arching her over like an unwatered houseplant. Margo is 55 years old. If you ever saw her ambling unsteadily down the street on a windy day, a knit scarf whipping at her neck, something might compel you to cross the street, walk up behind her, and get ready to catch her in case an especially strong gust blew her off her feet.

That's sort of what happened to me. I met Margo last summer during a gerontology elective after my first year in medical school. Margo has Alzheimer's disease. Like her body, her mind is shrinking. I observed Margo, leaning into winds of her disease, fighting them off; Alzheimer's blows a relentless course. So I crossed the street. I became close to Margo. I