SEATTLE, Wash. -- For some Alzheimer’s is considered a death sentence. For Lon Cole, it was just another battle, which inspired him.

“I figured I’ve got a short time, I’m going to live my life to the fullest,” said Cole.

Cole, who now lives in Puyallup, has written three books.

The Vietnam Veteran’s biography, “Celebrate Survival,” highlights his time in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine Corps Medic.

It included several dozen poems he wrote about his experiences.

“One of them was when I got shot, and they left me to die,” said Cole, who received a Purple Heart.

Writing poems after returning from war helped him deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Doctors treating his PTSD told him he had Alzheimer’s in 2010.

Again, Cole was inspired to write poems about his struggles, publishing two books, about living with Alzheimers: “Alive and Thankful, Life is a Gift” and “You’re Never Alone.”

He credits the Alzheimer’s Association for helping him and his family learn how to live and care for someone with the disease.

To pay the organization back, he volunteers for the Washington Chapter.

“This journey is going to be a tough journey,” said Cole, “But you’ve got an organization that will help you.”

Cole is being honored by the organization at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Tacoma September 11.