University of Nevada, Las Vegas…
My relationship with UNLV, if you can call it that, was on those Saturday nights at the Aloha Stadium when I cheered for the University of Hawaii Warriors football team to demolish this visiting team. I thought of those nights when I walked on UNLV campus last week and saw many of the students in their red uniforms. Their red always looked so much stronger than our green and white on the football ground.
Times have changed. I spent three days in Las Vegas, hosted by the CA Nevada Public Health Training Center at the University of Nevada and spoke on the humanities of caregiving, and poetry.
Through the generous efforts of Dr. Michelle Chino and LaShannon Spenser, I was on a natural high for three days. The Aloha Spirit also resides in these special women.
I had dinner with Aleya, a 15 year old student who formed a support group for teens. She plans to educate her peers on Alzheimer’s disease. She attended my session with her younger sister and mother. Our world is in good hands with students like Aleya and her sister.
Lee Ann Mandarino, of the Cleveland Clinic/Brain Health Center in LV gave a history of their most unique architected building. I first thought the building represented my collapsed brain at the end of a day. Their research on brain – related diseases are exciting and hopeful.
Lunched with Director Jeff Klein of the Nevada Senior Services. They have yet to deny anyone entry into their adult care programs. He promised me an open door should I ever seek solace. There are no rules when it comes to human needs, except to accept all people.
Nancy Paulson, Director of Home Health Services and Hospice and Christine Terry of the Alzheimer Association are commended for their tireless and continuous work on our behalf.
The only Vegas I knew was in the 80′s when I played those slot machines. Eons before that, I saw Elvis Presley toss his handkerchief, soaked with his sweat out to the screaming ladies. The years since have created a technological world beyond my comprehension as I walked through a casino without hearing a single sound of coins. What happened to the one-armed bandit? Will I be bragging by confessing that I didn’t spend a penny in the casinos?
My deep appreciation to the people above who introduced me to a part of Las Vegas that was all humanity.