By Jessica Mathews & Jon King /

Since Alzheimer’s and dementia aren’t stopping, neither is a Brighton businesswoman who lost both of her parents to the disease.

Both of Barb Binkley's parents, Bob and Liz Laughery, succumbed to dementia and that experience has now energized her to raise try and awareness about what calls "a horrible disease." She lost her mother in 2013 and then her father five years later.

Binkley, who along with her husband Mark owns Cooper & Binkley Jewelers in Downtown Brighton, says her mother was the first exposure in the family and the disease affected her parents in very different ways. Like many others, she said she didn’t know what to expect and was suddenly making decisions for her mother while serving as a primary caregiver.

Binkley told WHMI there was nothing she could do to prevent or stop the progression and there’s no way to prepare for something like that. She said it wasn’t easy and it’s a horrible way for someone to leave this world because the person knows things aren’t right but there’s nothing they can do about it. Binkley says it was a scary time and no one should ever have to go through something like this with a loved one, which is why it’s so important to continue to raise awareness and continue work to find a cure.

Binkley is the co-chair of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Brighton this October, which raises funds to provide care and support but also accelerates critical research. Binkley said she went through her own personal grieving process but always knew she would get involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and walk. Binkley says the awareness factor is huge and just as people have different experiences with the disease, there are many different ways to get involved.

Teams are being encouraged to register or donate toward the cause. Those who recruit five or more team members by May 31st and raise $500 or more during the month will receive a promise garden window cling for each team member.

Binkley will share her story during WHMI’s Viewpoint program this Sunday morning at 8:30.