Cait's Fundraising Page
This August I will be running in the 2022 Asics Falmouth Road Race as a member of Team End ALZ to support the Alzheimer's Association. This is my 5th Falmouth Road Race with Team End Alz! Please consider a donation in support of my mission to help END ALZHEIMER'S.
My story is similar to many others, but it's my own and every story is worth sharing.
Cape Cod has always been my second home. Shortly before I was born my Grandpa retired from Nabisco and he and my Grandma built their retirement home in Mashpee, MA. Growing up, every school vacation I had was spent on Cape Cod, regardless of the season. I've experienced Hurricane Bob, sunny days, snowy days, rainy days, blustery days...I've experienced it all. I made so many memories on Cape Cod, many that I was able to share with my Grandpa. He attended every concert I performed on the fireplace stage, he slipped me countless bowls of Friendly's ice cream when my parents said I couldn't leave the table until my plate was clean, we had our special songs that were just for the two of us, I could keep going for days with the memories we shared. Slowly those memories started to fade away for him, and on September 21, 2010 after a long battle we lost him to Alzheimer's Disease.
Four years after losing my Grandpa, my mom was diagnosed with Early On-Set Alzheimer's Disease. The shock of her initial diagnosis was hard to swallow, because it seemed like it all happened so quickly with my Grandpa. I have now learned that this disease effects everyone so differently, and this battle is her own. I watched on the sidelines as my mom helped to take care of her dad, and now I've taken her place. As one of her primary caregivers I've learned that every day is different. She has her good mornings, she has her challenging mornings, we have our days when we just cry out of frustration (yup, both of us), and we have our days where we just sit and laugh. Every day is different, and every day has a challenge of some kind as her disease progresses. I won't give up on creating new memories with her, even if I have to remember them for the both of us, one of those being trips back up to Cape Cod. I also won't give up on helping to find the first survivor, because it could be her.
That is why being a part of Team End Alz is so important to me, because we're all here for the common cause of finding the first survivor and putting and end to Alzheimer's Disease. For the past 4 years when I ran this race and I've had the names of relatives and friends that have been impacted by this disease on my singlet. I ran listening to songs that reminded me of my Grandpa, that my mom specifically requested for my playlist, and songs suggested by everyone who donated to my run so that I never lost sight of why I was doing this (despite all those hills during miles 1-3). This year I plan on doing the same, and I will keep doing this for as long as I can, until we can say that there is an end to Alzheimer's. Until then it starts with me, and it starts here. <3
Did you know....
- Over 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's today? And there are over 11 million American providing unpaid care for them?
- Alzheimer's and dementia deaths increased by 16% during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from heart disease have DECREASED 7.3% while deaths from Alzheimer's disease have INCREASED by 145%?
- Almost two thirds are those with Alzheimer's are women?
- Alzheimer's kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined?
- Older Black Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older Whites?
- Older Hispanics are about 1.5X as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older Whites?
- 12.7 million people aged 65 and older are projected to have Alzheimer's by 2050?
The Alzheimer's Association needs our help to raise awareness of this disease, the no-cost support services they offer, and vital funding to advance research for treatments and a cure. The first survivor of Alzheimer's is out there. But we can't find them without your help. Please donate if you can. Thank you!