Alzheimer’s patient using love of his Carolina Panthers to fight off disease

(WBTV/CNN) — An Alzheimer’s patient in North Carolina is hoping football will help him fight the disease by keeping up with the stats about his beloved Carolina Panthers.

“I read everything that The Charlotte Observer writes about the Panthers,” Peter Setzer said.

Setzer doesn’t just read them, he cuts them out and tapes the articles to the back of his bedroom door.

He reads these stories over and over again, because if he doesn’t, he’ll forget.

“About a year ago, I was diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s and, of course, that was a blow.”

Setzer’s Alzheimer’s is in its early stages and he hopes to keep it that way.

“The average person who’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will die in 11 years, and my determination is to slow that down.”

The former pastor has a list of things he does every day to slow the disease down, like doing a hour a day of brain games, but his favorite is pouring over Panther stats with his grandson.

“I’m going to go down fighting and do everything I can to prolong life.”

Setzer is undergoing experimental treatments and his daughter Joy Henderson hopes that they help with her dad’s diagnosis.

“My hope is that he’ll always remember to call me on game day and talk about the Panthers game,” she said. “My hope is that he’ll always know who I am when I call him and I hope he’ll always know who his grandson is.”

For many with Alzheimer’s, uncertainty is the only thing they can see ahead.

Setzer is just looking forward to adding a new article to his door, once his team takes home the Super Bowl trophy next Sunday.

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