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Alzheimer's group spreads holiday cheer through choir performance

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Christmas cheer filled a room at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts, as the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute's Amazing Grace Chorus sang songs of the season.

Each note, therapeutic for Pearl and Charles Cannon.

Charles was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008 and his wife Pearl is his caregiver.

"We love participating in it. Not only that, it motivated him in other areas because we had quit traveling a little bit, and now he's enthused about traveling and going out of town and doing things," says Pearl Cannon.

The Cannons have been members of the Amazing Grace Chorus program since its start in 2014.

With around 110,000 people in the state living with the disease, WAI Milwaukee’s Director Gina Green-Harris says these programs help take away the stigma

"What we're trying to show people, is that we know there's no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but with social support, with good service programs, we can actually help with a quality of life," says Green-Harris.

"It's very challenging, but you have to understand that they're still a person inside,” says Cannon. "I don't want him to feel like he's a burden in any kind of way."

Although it hasn't been easy, Pearl credit's her perseverance to a higher power.

"My faith, I would say, keeps me strong," she says.

Many of the people with the disease who participate in the chorus are in very high spirits in the days and weeks following their performance.

Bader Philanthropies also helped to make the event possible.

The group has given thousands of dollars to help those living with the disease.

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