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Middleton family tries to tackle Alzheimer's disease

By Emily Kumlien, ekumlien@wisctv.com
Published On: Apr 26 2014 06:43:19 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 28 2014 10:51:16 PM CDT

A well-known Middleton family is teaming up to play in a flag football game to tackle a cause close to their hearts.

MIDDLETON, Wis. -

A well-known Middleton family is teaming up to play in a flag football game to tackle a cause close to their hearts.

John Boyle was a long-time boys basketball coach at Middleton High School, but these days he and his family are in the fight of their lives off the court.

"We were raised by a coach, and that's a good thing," 32-year-old Haley Boyle said. "We are extremely competitive.”

The Boyles may joke about it but it's true: sports and the Boyles go hand in hand.

Mary Boyle was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in May 2010 when she was 57.

John Boyle takes care of Mary Boyle every day at their home. Haley Boyle moved back from Chicago and her brothers help out as much as they can. Mary’s condition is only getting worse, and at 61 she needs someone to be with her 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"I always thought coaching and teaching was hard work, and took a lot of time and I am finding out it's nothing compared to this," John Boyle said. "She has good days and bad days, but it's an up and down deal, sometimes minute to minute."

"I kept waiting for her to get better at the time, but it's never going to get better. That's what you learn at the time of the diagnosis. That was hard and totally surreal," Haley Boyle said.

With no cure in sight, Haley Boyle has now turned her focus to ending the disease.
"With his coaching, he taught us you do it and you do it with 100 percent," Haley Boyle said.

The Boyle family will be participating in the Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football game that is part of a national effort to end Alzheimer’s disease. Haley Boyle started the game for the Madison chapter last year.

The starting five for the Boyle team also includes brothers Danny Boyle and Tone Boyle, but the rock is mother Mary Boyle.

"It's all about awareness and research. Let young people know this doesn't just affect their grandparents. If I could help anyone from being blindsided like we were that is what I am meant to do," Haley Boyle said.

The Blondes vs. Brunettes game is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Middleton High School. Tickets are $10, and the teams have been raising money.

All proceeds from the game go to Alzheimer’s Association, and last year the event raised $10,000. They have already raised $18,000 for this year’s game, but Haley Boyle would like to see that go up to $25,000.

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