My Personal Fundraising Page
Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that slowly took our mother's life.
I watched as my mother changed dramatically over time. At first, as she began to change, my brothers and I didn’t know what it was, but later we realized something was seriously wrong and we found out that she had Alzheimer’s. Although she was very good at compensating and hiding the things she was having difficulty with in the earlier stages, it soon became impossible for her to cover up these difficulties because of how far along the disease had progressed. It became more evident after our dad died. She slowly lost her ability to do things she took pride in doing, like cooking and baking, socializing successfully with others, managing money, and cleaning. Her behavior became more erratic and confusing. Here was a woman who always took care of others and was very independent, but now she needed help with even the most basic of tasks.
At that point, we understood that it was unsafe for her to be living on her own. Thankfully, my older brother, Phil, lived nearby and my younger brother, John, and I were able to support him in the difficult decisions that needed to be made.
Realizing what would happen as the disease progressed, I made my mom a pictorial memory book so she would know her children and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, but soon she couldn’t even recognize them. My mother was always physically strong, but eventually she lost her ability to walk and feed herself.
It was horrible to see such a slow painful decline in her abilities that led to her death on June 3rd 2007. One of her sisters also died from this disease and a cousin is suffering from it now; it can run in families. Many who have supported me in the past, and many who will support me this year, know someone who has been affected. Over 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
It is because of this that I have been active in volunteering on the planning committee for this ride. This will be my 10th year riding to help raise funds that are desperately needed to further Alzheimer’s research so that others will not need to go through what we experienced. I join a wonderful team of riders every year who share the grief of this disease and who are fighting against it. 90% of the funds raised from this ride go to scientists and doctors to do research, with the remaining 10% for programs to help Alzheimer’s patients and their families. I attended a forum this spring that discussed the progress that has been made recently due to the funding from this Alzheimer’s Ride.
Each year I print a list and wear the names in the shape of a heart of everyone who I know who had or have the disease and everyone who supports me. Each year as I struggle on those hills I find strength in saying all the names of those who have struggled with the disease! I will do the same this year. I am a team captain with others on my team (TEAM HOPE) who will be riding. Jim joins the team as a volunteer at the start/finish line, also! I hope to be including YOU on my support team! No amount is too small or too large and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. I appreciate your donation.