Alzheimer's is a thief. It steals memories, opportunities, years, lives.
Alzheimer's is a beast. It preys on the strongest among us, those who have lived long lives full of memories with loved ones.
Alzheimer's is stealthy. It sneaks in quietly. It hides until it is found.
Alzheimer's is relentless. It sets the rules then changes them. It teases with a good day and then makes you pay for that glimmer of joy.
Alzheimer's is cold. It victimizes the person it attacks and everyone who loves that person. It is not picky, and it is not merciful.
Alzheimer's is a sentence. With that diagnosis, you begin serving time... fear, anger, panic, desperation, fog, reminders, panic, pleading, fog, changes, paranoia, confusion, fear, fog, clouds, confusion, clouds, loss, grief, nostalgia, pain, reminiscing, care, patience, grief, loss, grief, pain, anger, loss, loss, loss.
I participate in RivALZ to honor the loved ones I have lost and the selfless caregivers & families who have given so much. I have watched Alzheimer's in action from a front row seat take both my dad's parents, my mother-in-law and her brother. It took my high school Math teacher/basketball coach/softball coach and the dad of one of my best girlfriends from high school. I wish I didn't have so many reasons to feel so strongly about this cause. But, I do. Watching my Grandma look my dad (her son) in the eye and deny she is his mom was a stab to the heart. Listening to my Grandpa's very real accounts of hours just spent in the combine while he was wheelchair-bound in the nursing home left me feeling helpless. Hearing the fear in the sobs from my mother-in-law when she could feel her grip loosening as she did everything to hold on will haunt me forever.
I also play because I am terrified of Alzheimer's. I keep close track of my conversations with my dad & mom, listening for more than just what we are talking about. When I can't remember items on my short grocery list or what I said I have to remember to do later, I get more bothered than I ought to. I look at my husband & my boys and shudder to think they could be stolen from me as I am taken from them.
I'm a solver, by nature. We got a problem? Let's fix it. I can't fix Alzheimer's. What I can do: 1) help fund the efforts of those working tirelessly to #ENDALZ; 2) extend you the opportunity to do the same.
Team Tau cleaned up last year taking home both trophies: game champions & fundraising champions. However, it was our teams' collective efforts that made the biggest impact. Our 2019 RivALZ event was #5 in the NATION for funds raised! Generosity makes a difference. Supporting a cause that helps people makes a difference. You make a difference.
The Taus & Betas may be opponents on the field, but we’re all fighting to #ENDALZ. This disease must be defeated, and we need your help to do it. Your donation advances the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Thank you for helping us tackle this disease – I look forward to the day we play this game in celebration of ridding the world of Alzheimer's.
Thank you for reading my story & supporting the cause to #ENDALZ. You can donate now by clicking the button above.
TEAM TAU! ENDALZ!
XO - Erin Esbeck #22