I’m riding this year’s ALZ ride in honor of my mom, who passed away recently after being diagnosed with Alzhiemer’s just 3 years prior.
She was a strong woman, clocking more miles on her bicycle than most people put on their cars. She was an avid reader, a published author, and loved helping those around her. A person I talked with every single day. She was a common sight at my bike races, cheering me on, and bringing her world-famous oatmeal cookies for my fellow racers.
Before taking up cycling, my mom was a dedicated runner and cancer survivor who refused to let a rheumatoid diagnosis stop her from pursuing her passions. The doctors said at the time, she would be in a wheelchair within 15 years. But that didn’t slow her down - she bought a bike, and one of the first big rides we did together was a 100 mile ride to raise money for cancer research. That was just one of our many rides together.
Alzheimer’s stole my mom from me. The disease progressed rapidly, and within 6 months, she often didn’t know who I was. Occasionally, her former personality would shine through, but most of the time she was living in a state of confusion & fear. It was around the clock support, of which, my dad did an amazing job.
There are more than 6 million Americans living with this disease, and over 11 million family members and friends who provide them with care. Alzheimer’s doesn’t just impact the patient. It impacts everyone around them - mentally, physically, and financially. The strain is hard to grasp unless you have been through it.
With each mile I ride, I am raising funds to advance research toward the first survivor of Alzheimer’s.
Thank you for cheering me on.
Cheer Me On!