Some of you, maybe most of you, knew Helen in some respect. She knew a lot of people from all of the social groups that she participated in throughout her life. It got to the point where I couldn't even go to the grocery store with her without my Mom running into someone she knew. (Yes, I often found everything on the shopping list while she caught up with whomever she knew - it was more efficient that way.)
You might have caught the past tense in the paragraph above. My Mom, Helen, sadly passed away on April 17, 2023 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2020 (initially diagnosed with Dementia in 2019).
But the impact on others she has had in her life has been amazing. You should have heard the people at the memory care facility that she resided at - they were amazed at the amount of visitors that Helen received! And we have loved all the Facebook messages, posts, text messages, calls that we have received since her passing. It just goes to show that Helen has made lasting friendships with all of you and has made a difference in your lives, just as you have made a difference in her life.
I know that many of you, like me, want to do something to prevent anyone else from going through what Helen went through, and what we went through knowing Helen. So I have made this team to help raise awareness and to fundraise to help find a cure for Alzheimer's. And if you want to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Portland, we welcome you. I participated in 2022 and it was moving to see all the other people there.
Everyone who knew Helen knew that she hailed from Ireland, specifically Galway - the city where she was born, so this team is named "Galway Girl" in her honor. You know she would have burst into song as soon as she heard the name. The Steve Earle version, in case you were wondering.
Please share your own stories about Helen and how she has influenced you! I always love hearing from her friends and family.
For those of you who wish to participate in the Portland Walk to End Alzheimer's, we'll send out details of where to meet, etc. as the date grows closer. Keep an eye out - we might include some cool swag like knitted hats!
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