If you know me you know this is a cause I'm passionate about... My grandmother spent roughly the last 10 years or so of her life fighting Alzheimer's. I'm walking to help reclaim the future for millions. By participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's I'm committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer research care and support.
A ROAD TRIP TO REMEMBER is a walk that my wife Ronda and I took March 15-21, 2014. We walked down RT 66, a road full of memories for so many of us! We will left from the Arkansas River Bridge in downtown Tulsa, and over the next 7 days we traveled 144 miles down RT 66 to our hometown of El Reno, OK. We had several wonderful people join us along the trip for a great event, and thank them for their support!
THE REASON I WALK
I remember going to the nursing home one evening with my dad to feed my grandmother as he did every lunch or dinnertime where his duties as a college president didn't keep him from it. My Grandma Helen had not spoken a legible sentence or carried on a conversation in over a year. Mostly she mumbled or made unintelligible sounds. I watched as my dad meticulously prepared the details of feeding her; he moistened a rag to be able to wipe her face put a bib on her to keep her clean and even tasted the pureed food then seasoned it just a tad so it would taste better.
After lovingly feeding her each bite and carrying on a one sided conversation with her throughout the meal he began to clean her up. As the last thing before we left he took out her toothbrush wet the bristles and then put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush. "Mama open up your mouth we need to brush your teeth" he said. She pursed her lips so tightly that he wasn't able to get the toothbrush in to clean her dentures. "Now Mama" he said "If you don't let me brush your teeth I'm going to have to take your dentures out to clean them" my Dad told her.
Up to that point her head had been bobbing and weaving back and forth in a rhythmic motion... but suddenly she was still. The eyes that had been vacantly searching the far corners of the ceiling now locked directly on my Father's eyes. With a twinkle in those eyes and with a voice as clear as a bell she quipped back "I don't believe you will!"... and then she was gone again. We looked at each other in shock then amazement and finally we broke out in laughter and tears at the same time. For an instant in time she was with us again. The joy of knowing and being known even for just a few seconds was incredible but so very painful too.
MAKE A DONATION- CHANGE A LIFE!
I hate this disease. I hate what it does to the person with the disease and I hate what it does to families. I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into prevention treatments and a cure for Alzheimer's. For the millions already affected by the disease the Association offers care education support and resources in communities nationwide.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING OUR MOVEMENT! THE END OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE STARTS HERE!
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
I have raised