is fundraising to honor:
her mother, Beverly.
My mother, at her finest, was the person you could bump accidentally at the grocery store, and the next moment you were best friends. She was a fighter, fiercely independent to a fault, and in her prime, a caregiver, her last patients being Alzheimers patients. Then, in 2011, everything changed.
In 2011, our mothers mind started slipping. In 2012, she herself decided it was no longer safe for her to drive as she found herself in an unsafe situation. In 2014, I left my job with the unwavering support of my husband to take care of mom, and also be there for his two children, as we all lived together. In 2015, I gave birth to a baby boy. In 2017, moms health, both mental and physical, continued to deteriorate. She has what's commonly referred to as mixed dementia, both Alzheimers and Vascular Dementia. As her daughter, and caretaker, I toed the line of making sure she was cared for, loved, bathed, fed. I am her therapist on the days she's angry. I'm the voice of reason when hers gets lost in the recesses of her mind. Alzheimer's and dementia are hell not only on the patient, but on those that care for them. Everyday, a little bit more of them slips away. Everyday, we grieve these little losses. And then we grieve for them. As Alzheimers disease currently has no cure, it is a terminal brain disease. My momma gained her purple wings October 14, 2018.
In 2018 I was going to walk 66 miles on the NC coast; 66 miles in recognition of the fact that every 66 seconds, someone develops Alzheimers. Life had a different plan. My mother began having multiple mini strokes in December 2017. She was admitted to hospice in January, mainly to protect her quality of life and ensure palliative care was in place before it was too late. Her mind suffered tremendous trauma from all the strokes. Since the Outer Banks can be quite spotty with cell service and there are some areas you can only reach via ferry boat, I adapted to the ever-changing course that dementia has us on.
It's now 2019, and I am walking 65 miles, because unfortunately that number has gone down; meaning the rate at which people develop Alzheimers disease is increasing. I will walk 65 miles, starting just south of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to Ocracoke Island. I will be updating my FB event page with training images, trials, tears, and all the lengths I'm willing to go to to fulfill this dream. I encourage you to come and walk with me! Not the whole 65, but a mile or two here and there. If you have a story you want to share, if you want to support the cause, join my event! I'd be happy to have the company!
Today, an estimated 47 million people across the world are living with dementia. This number is set to skyrocket to 75 million by 2030. In the United States alone, more than 15 million caregivers generously dedicate themselves to those with Alzheimer's and dementia. These numbers will only continue to rise unless we take action.
Together, we can show those facing Alzheimer's disease they are not alone. Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research toward the first survivor of Alzheimer’s and provide care and support to those facing the disease today.
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