Why I Ride:
I ride for the one who first taught me to ride a bike. My dad.
Most of you know my story... but I always like to share. Others sharing their stories helped make me feel less alone when this unfortunate journey began for me years ago. Everyone is touched by this garbage dumpster of a disease in some way... or will be at some point in their lives. So I hope sharing my story brings some sense of peace to others out there... knowing you are NOT alone.
My dad's memory starting failing back in 2014. He was 63 at the time. It started with little things... forgetting directions, repeating things, losing keys... It was mostly short term memory and could be chalked up to a million other things for awhile. I thought if he just ate a better diet, if he exercised more, if he slept better... this would all just go away. Things continued to progressively worsen over time. Denial was my comfort until I simply could not deny reality any longer.
Reality is this: We are losing my dad, day by day and piece by piece. My Daddy, who has been my rock since as far as I can remember, who has been the one who had the answer to everything, the smartest man in the world, could fix anything, my hero... he now sleeps most of the day, has trouble finding words and sits with a blank stare on his face for hours. He has wandered off and gotten lost multiple times because he was unable to find his way home. He has had false memories and scary delusions at times. I cannot tell you the heart break I felt the first time he forgot who I was. It is now extremely rare that he knows who either my sister and I are. He doesn't think he has any children. Most days he doesn't know who my mom is either. They have been married for 43 years. This is hands down one of the hardest things I have ever been faced with.
And there is no fixing this. It won't get better. It will get worse. There is no effective treatment. There is no cure...
BUT... Let's end that, OK?! I believe a cure is possible. I believe I will see the day where Alzheimer's disease/dementia is a survivable disease. And so I won't sit back, roll over, feel sorry for myself, and allow this BS to take my dad without a fight.
So please fight with me. Fight for my Dad. Fight for my Uncle Harold and my Grandmother Charlotte who I never got to know. Fight for me and the damn genes I have that may make me next. Fight for your parents and grandparents. Fight for your self, your brain, and your future.
I have participated and fundraised for the Walk to End Alzheimer's here in Atlanta for the past few years (excluding last year because of COVID obviously...). I have decided to take it up a big notch this year... October 10, 2021 I will participate in the RIDE to End Alzheimer's in Wimberly, Texas where I will ride 62 miles for my dad. Now, mind you, I'm not a cyclist! So this will be a HUGE challenge for me, but it means something to me and my dad is worth every single struggle I will face along the way.
Here is where you come in! I will need emotional support along the way... so I will be graciously accepting ALL prayers, encouraging words, advice on cycling/training and of course coming on a training ride with me... all ways you can help! Also, please seriously consider making a financial donation to help me reach my fundraising goal. 100%, YES! 100% of the donations will go DIRECTLY to Alzheimer's research. I have raised a total of just over $6,000 over the past few years doing the Walk to End Alzheimer's... and I would like to hit the $10,000 TOTAL with this ride, thus making my goal this year to raise $4,000! Which I am confident I can do with everyone's generous support! Donations are all tax-deductable of course... and please know NO donation is too small!
Soooo... thank you in advance for your support!!! I am excited and nervous about embarking on this adventure... I'll update my progress and regularly post the link to my page on social media throughout the next few months!