It's inconceivable to imagine a world in which a parent no longer recognizes their own child, yet that's the devastating reality for so many families enduring the effects of dementia. Kelly Gunderson of Georgia is no stranger to this plight; her mother, 87 years old at the time of the publication of the video below, suffers from Alzheimer's and therefore seldom interacts with her daughter in any coherent way. However, Kelly managed to capture a miraculously rare moment of lucidity on camera during which her mother actually recognizes her and their exchange is nothing short of emotional.
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According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease is "the most common form of dementia" and typically affects individuals 65 years of age and older (however, some individuals experience an early-onset strain that strikes as early as 40). Alzheimer's impairs memory and cognitive functioning, and the condition only intensifies over time, ultimately rendering many patients unable to recognize their own loved ones or carry conversations as their symptoms worsen. Such is the case for Kelly Gunderson's mom, therefore making her fleeting moment of clarity all the more special, if not altogether miraculous.

But just where is Ms. Gunderson now? After the viral success of their moving family moment almost a year ago, Kelly has used her Youtube channel to post frequent talks with her elderly mother, many of them featuring her twin sister, Leigh Rhodes. As recently as one month ago, she published footage of a hopeful, happy mother-daughter chat, demonstrating just how resilient her family really is in the wake of such difficult circumstances. In the video, Kelly preaches the importance of patience while dealing with the reality of Alzheimer's.

While the Alzheimer's Association reports that there is no known cure for this heartbreaking disease (which ranks as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States), brave daughters like Kelly Gunderson and Leigh Rhodes demonstrate that any family can endure with positivity, faith, and the simple power of saying "I love you." We applaud their willingness to so openly share their experiences and have no doubt that their small breakthroughs provide hope and inspiration to others in similar situations.  Has your family been affected by dementia? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and make sure to share if you found this clip as moving as we did.