Making my miles matter for my aunt Nayleh!
If you were my childhood friend, most likely you had met my charismatic Aunt Nayleh. The funniest, full of life, and kindest person that a teenage girl would proudly introduce to her friends as her super cool Aunt! As I was the one who’d take my friends to my super fun family parties, and she was the one who’d play the most upbeat songs and would make us dance to the very last minute of the party, no matter how shy or embarrassed we may have felt at those teenage years! She would make us feel alive and self-assured! Just like her name, she was one of a kind!
She was unbelievably kind: One time we were in a car backseat together, traveling from Tehran to Gorgan, a 4 hours trip. I slept the whole time on her rightarm and the entire trip she stayed still and didn’t move her arm so that I wouldn't wake up!
Aunt Nayleh was also super inspirational: She made it possible for her first-born daughter to study abroad at a very young age because she knew her daughter was more free-spirited to bear up with my country's (Iran) traditions. On top of all these, she was fashionable (Gherti). She'd wear her daughters’ trendy clothes all the time! Whenever I would sleepover at her house, she would curl up my hair.
Last year, I lost my Auntie Nayleh due to Alzheimer's disease. Within a few years from her diagnosis, her disease rapidly worsened and became severe to thepoint that it completely disabled her. The whole family witnessed how all her life-fullness,energy, kindness, and witty spirit faded away. And we could not do anything as there are many unknowns about this disease that still require research. Her disease got so severe that it was not only that she couldn't remember stuff anymore, but she slowly lost the ability to talk, and even walk or move around. This was life-changing for her and her family! Finally, we lost her on the first day of fall….Personally, I had never imagined Alzheimer's disease could impact and take one's life so painfully!
On October 2021, almost a year after she passed away, I am running theChicago Marathon, participating with Alzheimer’s Association (Alz Stars). I'm sure if she knew about this, she would make a few jokes on how crazy the idea of running for more than 4 hours is! I am writing this to ask you to help me raise funds in her honor, and to support research on a disease that affects millions of people. Plus, running a marathon for the first time is scary as you can imagine so please back me up by your kind donations to the Alzheimer’s Associations through the link below! Please consider leaving your name to remind me of your generosity and to motivate me on doing my daily marathon trainings! :)