Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker says his wife, Christa, is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
Baker made the announcement in a letter released Wednesday morning to the media and supporters.
The county executive says his wife's illness won't affect his ability to serve. He says his wife will continue in her ceremonial responsibilities as the county's first lady, but there will be times when she needs to be in more familiar surroundings.
Baker says he's sharing the news to send a message that "mental health disease is not the end, nor do you need to be embarrassed or ashamed."
Christa Baker is 52 and has been married to Rushern Baker for 26 years. The county executive is 53. They have three children.