is fundraising to honor:
all those facing Alzheimer's
On October 16, 2019, my life’s trajectory changed as I was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment consistent with Alzheimer’s disease likely to become Dementia. I’m 55 years old. DANG!
My doctor told me if I had a bucket list, I should start doing it. One of my bucket list items has always been to qualify for the Kona IRONMAN in Hawaii. However, due to multiple surgeries plus the fact I am not an elite athlete, I guessed my best shot to qualify would be when I reached age 75. And I was the only one in my age bracket.
Within hours of my diagnosis, I contacted Sarah Hartmann at The IRONMAN Foundation. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to race Kona on February 6, 2021.
You see the math is bad with Alzheimer’s. Once diagnosed, your life expectancy is between 3 and 20 years with an average of 8. I’m 55, and 75 is now at the far end of the probability matrix. And, because Alzheimer’s is a cruel thief stealing your vocabulary, memory, and basic cognitive functions, it is unclear how many of those years will be good ones.
So today I am in a battle for my mind. Though the outlook isn’t positive, my perspective is. I am strong and full of gratitude as I attack this thing with everything I have. I can’t control what has happened, but I can control how I respond. I am religiously following the Mediterranean diet, vigorously exercising daily, prioritizing getting good sleep, and doing yoga, tai-chi and a litany of brain games and things like Sudoku.
I told my doctor there’s always an outlier, and that I’m going find a way to beat this, and he could write the book. This is my goal and mission. It’s game time – Time to bring it!
At this point in my journey, I have been so touched by many of your stories, as this disease has affected you or someone you know and love. I would like to take that spirit of those individuals with me to Kona by dedicating a mile for each of the 140.6 of this IRONMAN. Anyone that has a dog in this fight is welcome to a mile. Because of Covid-19 and the current economic disruption, I'm not asking for any monetary contributions. I've got that covered. When things get better, I'd appreciate
your consideration in helping the Alzheimer's Association defeat this brutal disease.
Email your mile dedications to email@example.com and I will post them below.
I thank God for the gift of TODAY – CARPE DIEM!
1 I pray Griffin and Elsa Jaworski do not have the ALZ genetic marker - Dan Jaworski
2 Jerie Dvkovitz
3 Scott Finley
4 Micheal Dorn
5 - Dorthy (Dot) June Rossetto. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother.
An adventurous women who loved to travel, lived to the fullest and loved her family and
friends dearly. Alzheimer's took her far too soon. Was born on 5th of June.
7 - taken
9 - Connie Elpers. She has 9 grandchildren . She was naturalist at the Great Plains Nature Center and loves the outdoors. Loves Kids.
10 - Patrica Joyce. Was a nurse. Diagnosed at 67 she lived with the disease for 10
years. She was a force and had an independent spirit. Raised four kids to be self and
12 - Marilyn Napoletan was a beloved mother, gram, aunt, mentor, and friend to many. She touched countless lives with her wisdom, sense of humor, and above all, her love. Marilyn fought a courageous decade-long battle against Alzheimer's. She is missed more than words can say.
14 - Patty Biggs. She was a physical phenom for her generation, even hiking the
Rockies into her early 80's. Was determined to overcome the disease even though it
terrified her as she was her grandmother's caregiver. Her strong spirit broke through the
disease all the way up to end by showing her children she was still Patty in big ways
and small. Her love of life, strong determination, and steely will enabled her to live most
of that time to the fullest. She loved people, to laugh, dance and celebrated everything.
She loved life.
16 - Jimmy Street an amazing man of great faith. Husband, father, and grandpa. Never met a stranger and was loved by all who knew him.
20 - John Armisto: Forever a fighter, now our guardian angel...
21 - Leora Gaines Loveless. Awesome mother who loved her children more than anything.
22 - Ruby McCarthy Gaines. Graduate of Albion Academy. Accomplished music teacher, church organist, community leader, traveler (visited every state but Utah).
23 - Robert Comeford. He was diagnosed 7 years ago with Alzheimers. Easter weekend in 2019 he finished his race. My dad fought a good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith.
27 - Leslie
28 - Carmen Fair. Mother of 4. Grandmother of 8.
30 - Leonard Fussel, age 75. He loved his children and his grandchildren so much. He is missed.
31 - Connie from Copenhagen. Diagnosed with Alz at 53 in 2007. Amazing mum of 3.
Worked as a social health assistant for more than 30 years. Known for her loving,
attentive, giving and caring nature.
32 - Connie Wagner, great mom, Grandma, Aunt and Cousin to the Jaworski's! She lived life to the fullest and Alzheimer's took her too soon.
38 - Bobby Lee
42 - Sue was born in 1942. Think "mischief when you feel fatigued
her mischievous spirit and enthusiasm will perk you up! She was an English teacher,
writer, and poet. Would say "Life does more than sorrows."
43 - To Diane Graham. She couldn't outrun Alzheimer's, but she'll watch Dan do it!
45 - Jo Langenfeld aka nana Jo. She is a sister, mother, grandmother, wife, and overall a bad ass woman fighting Alzheimer's. Her family would like her to be remembered as a caring, spunky individual that loves crocheting, camping, drinking tea, and being with her family.
47 - Donna Mullen born 4/4/47. She was diagnosed at 69 in 2017 with vascular dementia. She progressed rapidly and now no longer knows that she has a daughter. She loved camping, traveling and caring for children.
49 - Beth Sokol. Mother of 3 girls. Caregiver to all she meets.
52 - Sylvia Gelineau. Diagnosed at 52. Amazing mom who fights every day to be
present for her two kids, loves the beach, FL football, & everything purple!
54 - Rene Wuillermin.
56 - Gloria has been punching dementia in the face since her diagnosis in 2012. A shy beauty when she was young, she fell a for gangly redhead and married the crap out of him for 56 years until he passed away. She is a beloved mother, grandmother, friend to many, ornery as all get out to all. On behalf of Gloria, we are privileged to have mile 56 of Dan's IRONMAN race dedicated to Gloria and honor the best years of her life married to that lanky, freckled faced farm boy. Gloria's dementia journey is chronicled by her eldest daughter at the blog Stumped Town Dementia.
59 - Anna Medley, always my "favorite mom" and the strongest woman I know!
60 - Viva McReynolds.
61 - Vyva Hendrix.
67 - Peggy Durnell.
70 - Andrew L
73 - Margaret Farrell. She's 73. Known for kindness far and wide.
75 - For Lowell Klosky and Arlene Zatz loved and remembered by many.
79 - Big Don Horton.
80 - taken
82 - Sylvia Amey.
83 - Diana Gilligan, 83 years old, survived a childhood of poverty, and was first in her family to attend college. She was married to my dad for 30 years and raised 4 children. Even though she suffers greatly from arthritis, she never complains.
86 - Ramona Orama. She was everyone's friend. And would help anyone in need.
89 - Katherine Schneider. Was 89 when she passed from ALZ. Lived through a lot and could never believe she lived so long. Survived a concentration camp in WWII with her two boys and moved to America without speaking any English. She made a great life for herself and our family starting from nothing at all. Definitely an inspiration!
92 - Shirley McGruer, aged 92, living with Alzheimer's in a nursing home in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Mom to 2 daughters, grandmother of 5, great grandmother of 2. She used to play piano and figure skate. Loves to sing, and is still really funny during her "good" days. Her motto: "You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps!"
99 - Deery
100 - Joann Biernoff. She always gave 100% to every new challenge in life. A single
mum of 3 children. Who loved her career as a Nutritionist. Always helping others with
their health. Being diagnosed in her 60's, she's fought a courageous battle with this
disease. Now in the final stages.
111 - Bonnie Miller. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia at 89 and died at 92. She used to call herself a "tough old bird." And she was. She fought hard. Vascular dementia, unlike some other types of Alzheimer's, progresses much more rapidly. I"m happy she was home with us when she leveled up on Memorial Day this year.
112 - JD Fleming, Jr., who died July 2017 with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. He was, and remains, my hero. His birthday was January 12.
115 - Phyllis Ann Holvey.
116 - Ilene White.
118 - For my dad Wayne, who always paced himself and ALWAYS had fun!
120 - Nora.
130 - Marietta Tribble. She loved Diet Coke from McDonald's. I will start using Diet
Coke at the aid station at mile 130 for a caffeine jolt.
139 - Rebecca "Beauty" Bearden. She is still with us and was diagnosed with Early Onset 7 years ago. Our family believes we can always find Beauty in the Brokenness- just have to choose your lens. We see Beauty in your mile 139- one of your most difficult miles, feeling broken and tired, but Dan, what you are doing is one of the most admirable things you can do. Take it home to mile 140 to meet your beautiful bride!
140.6 Julie Jaworski you are my everything. You are my last mile. Dan Jaworski
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