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Annabel Bowlen announces Alzheimer's diagnosis

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Annabel Bowlen, wife of Denver Broncos majority owner Pat Bowlen, announced Wednesday she was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Bowlen made the announcement in a statement released by the team:

I recently learned that I've joined my husband Pat and the millions of others who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Since Pat's diagnosis, I have gained a vivid understanding of this disease's progression and its effect on those living with it as well as their families. My family and I have been -- and will remain -- dedicated supporters of Alzheimer's awareness, treatment and research funding.

I decided to make my diagnosis public right away in the hope that it continues to raise awareness for those battling Alzheimer's and their loved ones. With June also being Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, the timing was right for me to share this personal update with everyone.

I feel that it is important for people to know that those in my situation do not need to completely withdraw from their daily activities. Based on my own experience with Pat, there will still be many joyous and rewarding moments for me as well as my family and friends.

I intend to proceed in life with the same strength, courage and endurance that Pat has shown in his battle with this disease. Like Pat, I know there will be good days and bad days ahead. I'm grateful to have the support of my family and especially my children -- Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.

It's my hope to remain involved in various Alzheimer's events as my health allows. And of course, I'll be cheering on our Broncos.

Most importantly, thank you to all of our incredible fans for the compassion and support you've given to me, Pat and our entire family.

Pat Bowlen, 74, relinquished control of the team to Broncos president Joe Ellis in July 2014 after publicly announcing he was battling Alzheimer's disease. Bowlen and his siblings purchased the Broncos in 1984. Under Bowlen family ownership, the Broncos have won three Super Bowl titles and have reached the big game seven times.

"Our hearts go out to Annabel and the entire Bowlen family," Ellis said in a statement. "She's been a wonderful ambassador and advocate for the Broncos over the years, especially in recent seasons as Pat has focused on his own battle with Alzheimer's disease.

"All of us at the Broncos are behind Annabel and know she'll face this challenge with courage and determination."

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