I'm leading the way to Alzheimer's first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
I attended my very first Memory Walk to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at the Pittsburgh Zoo. It was after my Mom was first diagnosed. I was shocked by the number of people who were there. The parking lot was never more full than what I saw on the Walk day. The Highland Park Bridge was so backed up, that I lived in Aspinwall at the time, and it took me almost 45 minutes to get there.
My oldest daughter, Sheena and I were asked to be a part of the Volunteer Planning Committee for the Walk. The Walk was held for a couple more years at the Zoo.
We were forced to look for other venues because our Walk continues to grow. There are more & more people affected daily. It's heartbreaking to me when I hear of another family having to face what we had to face.
My Mom, had a very short lived life after her diagnosis. Looking back now, I believe we were so blessed that she didn't have to live the hellish lives that I've heard others talk about. When they say how their loved ones were rude or mean to them. My Mom was happy & content. She was really confused & didn't remember Dad at times or where he fit in. That broke his heart & to see that broke my heart! At the nursing home, they called her "happy confused."
She retained knowledge from being an LPN. She remembered how to disengage the alarm on the wheelchairs, so she was setting other patients free. The staff wondered how some patients had got out. They watched their cameras & found my Momma, nurse Phyllis freeing patients! I guess she felt good discharging them, and why not!!! She probably felt like: Alzheimer's needs to be CURED & we can let those patients go!!! Mom had the right idea, she didn't want to have them stuck there. She was dreaming of a World without Alzheimer's for you & I. One day someone will hold that white flower, and say "I survived ALZHEIMER'S!"
Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer's!
Sandy (Bish) Van Dyke
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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