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Wife of NFL legend Michael Irvin is reportedly suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's

The Dallas Cowboys great reportedly told patrons at the opening of his new restaurant that his wife Sandy has been battling the disease for several years now and requires a live-in caretaker.
Michael Irvin
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 19, 2024

The 58-year-old wife of Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin is reportedly suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's.

The NFL Hall of Famer made the announcement Monday during the soft opening of his new sports bar in The Colony, Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Irvin reportedly told patrons that his wife, Sandy, has been battling the disease for several years now and requires a live-in caretaker to help her with everyday tasks.

However, Irvin told the Star-Telegram via text message that he is not considering putting his wife in a full-time care facility, adding that she has "earned the right to stay in her house."

File photo of Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, and his wife Sandy, July 16, 1996.
File photo of Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, and his wife Sandy, July 16, 1996.

Related Story: US cost of Alzheimer's care projected to rise by $15 billion in 2024

An estimated nearly 7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The progressive neurological disorder causes brain cells to die off over time, leading to a continuous decline in behavioral and social skills.

The risk of contracting Alzheimer's increases significantly after the age of 65, but some people younger than that can still show signs of the disease. Symptoms include memory loss, cognitive decline, disorientation, speech problems, behavioral changes, and challenges completing simple daily tasks.

Although rare — accounting for about 5% of all cases — early-onset Alzheimer's often has a stronger genetic link and may be inherited. For more information about the disease, how to detect it and treatment options, head over to alz.org.