I walk for my father, Cantor Jonas Garfinkel. He died on May 21, 1995, but I lost him long before that. In fact, before he was formally diagnosed in March 1989, we knew there was something wrong. He got lost a lot. He couldn't remember things, when he historically had an excellent memory. I walk because I hope a cure is found in my lifetime. I walk because I know many people affected by this awful disease.
My father survived Adolph Hitler and came to this country in 1951 to make a life with my mother and siblings. My father jumped freight trains during WW2, when he and my mother got separated. My father was a member of the Stern Gang, and he smuggled people and arms into Palestine, and was a great supporter of the State of Israel.
He came here and made a life, and that life was taken by him by this insidious disease. It robbed him of his memory and his dignity.
I walk because I hope for a day that nobody has to endure that or watch a loved one die because of it.
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