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[Times photos: Cherie Diez]
Cheri Whitaker comforts Ed Thompson. He knows Catherine has Alzheimer’s but can’t keep himself from wondering if it might be something else, something curable: “What if it’s something I missed? I guess I’m trying to hang onto a little thread.”


Friendship extends beyond the conference table From left, Carol Ross, Gil Nichols, Ed Thompson, a man who rarely attends the group, Millie Gundlach, Mary Lorentz and Phil Germaine cheer up George Hoffman via speakerphone when he is laid up in the hospital with pneumonia.

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