Saturday, September 10, 2016

Walk to End Alzheimer's

The rain did not hamper the spirits of the walkers today at the Champaign, IL Walk to End Alzheimer's. It rained before the event, and once we started our almost 2-mile trek, it started again, but it didn't last long. The sun was shining afterwards and our hearts were touched by the support for this cause that we hold near and dear to our hearts. It's always so heartbreaking to hear the personal stories. The speaker apologized for starting to cry when she spoke of her father and his Alzheimer's diagnosis. But, we all understand. We are all there because of this cruel disease and would never make anyone feel bad for not keeping their composure. Donations can still be accepted until the end of the year. My team, which consisted of my daughter and I, raised $370 this year. I would love to break $500. There is always next year! Thank you to all who have supported us this year, and those who walk along side of us. This disease is devastating....to lose all your memories, including your own identity, is something I just cannot imagine, but having seen my grandmother forget her family was one of the toughest things I have ever done in my life. My last memories of her were bittersweet. I kissed her cheek and said goodbye even as she looked at me, with eyes that showed her confusion, as she threw me out of her room as she didn't know me. "Goodbye Grandma, I love you". I hope those words she heard, even if she didn't understand them. Strides in research are being made, but there is a long way to go still. As someone said today, "The cure for Polio came because of test studies" and I believe that a cure for Alzheimers will come, in my lifetime. I believe. I believe. If this disease has affected you...your family, you understand the pain..the cost this diseases takes on the family. If it hasn't affected you, you are lucky, because this disease is affecting more and more people every year, and at a much younger age. It's not an "old-person's disease by any means. This disease has afflicted people in their 30's....maybe even younger, but I know of people in their 30's.
Thanks again for your support, this year, and the past few years. I'm in this for the long run.