John Sandblom, one of DAI's founding members, has lived in central Iowa, US all of his life except for college which was eastern Iowa at the University of Iowa. He spent the majority of his working life in business-to- business sales, first print advertising followed by television advertising and then telecommunications sales.
He was diagnosed with Younger Onset Atypical Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 48 in 2007, by a gerontologist that specialized in dementia. It was the same physician that diagnosed his father with Alzheimer’s disease in his early 70’s. He went back through the diagnosis process from scratch at Mayo Clinic in 2009, where he was told it was medically undeniable that he had dementia but they could not tell him what type.
He was labeled atypical FTD by a local neurologist, until November of 2011 when by surprise he received the complete research autopsy done on his father’s brain. It showed he died of Alzheimer’s Disease and it has since been believed that John has the same type of dementia that his father had. By this point there was a new atypical Alzheimer’s diagnosis added called frontal variant Alzheimer’s, it is thought to be what John’s diagnosis is now.
John works at the local, regional, state and international levels now to advocate for people with dementia. He also started a support group comprised solely of people living with dementia, which is a wonderful supportive group and the achievement in helping others with dementia that he is most proud.