Nine years ago, the patriarch of our family, Irvin Ketner, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. While the diagnosis came with a host of questions and fears, one thing was clear; we would fight together as a family. For twelve years, we watched Irvin lose more and more of his independence, but still show signs of his sense of humor. In fact, that's where our team got our name! Taylor, Irvin's first great grandchild, was sitting on the table at a family gathering around the age of 2. Irvin, in his most perfect Pennsylvania Dutch accent, laughingly told her repeatedly to "Get off the table, Mabel" to which Taylor laughed to tears over for the next 20 minutes. From then on our beloved Irvin had been called Mabel.
As a family, we knew we wanted to do more to support Irvin, his wife and caretaker, Grace, and everyone else fighting Alzheimer's. Mabel's Marchers started in 2013 by Melissa Gruber, Irvin's first granddaughter, with 15 family members and a few friends who raised around $800. By 2018, Mabel's Marchers grew to 50 team members and raised over $18,000!
On January 20, 2019, we lost our sweet Irvin. He fought this battle with the most incredible strength and downright stubbornness, refusing to give up, right up to the very end. This year we fundraise not only to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and to spread awareness, but in memory of our guardian angel, Irvin.
Alzheimer’s disease is relentless. So are we. Join our team for the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's at Penn State Berks on October 5, 2019! Together we can fight Alzheimer's!
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