Why I Ride: I ride with fear and hope. Fear of succumbing to this awful disease. Hope that my grandchildren will know it only through history.
My story?: My grandmother lived to be 100. For many of those years she lived each moment unconnected to the one before or after. She did not know how to dress herself, how to use a toilet, what it was for, where she was. She could be happy and sad, but only she knew why.
My mother devoted a portion of nearly every one of those days to Grandma. She visited her at the nursing home, shopped to keep her ever disappearing supply of underwear replenished, bought Christmas present for her aides, combed her beautiful white hair, calmed her sole. My mother never detailed those visits to us. What she detailed, in a way, were hopes and instructions. "Don't ever let me live this way." "Kill me first." Again and again and again. It became her mantra: "don't-ever-let-me-live-this-way-kill-me-first"
When Grandma died, Mother was 75 years old. At 80, Mother had a stroke. Mother knew where she was and who we were. And when, 5 years later, she was admitted to a nursing home, she knew her worst fear had been realized.
I ride for Alzheimer's while I still can--while I have the wit to find my way, to remember to pay my entry fee, and the strength to push those pedals, (this year for 50 miles). This year, there is more need for contributions of all sorts across a wide spectrum. And while the need for money is urgent in many places, Alzeimer's will not go away unless we do something about it. We need research and we must pay for it. Please contribute if you can.