My dear friends and family, Most of you know that I lost my beloved Ray more than three years ago to Alzheimer's Disease. During the last few year of his life, the man who once had been fearless in the court room or testifying before the Michigan Legislature now panicked when he was left alone; even if we were out to dinner and I stepped away from the table to go to the Ladies' room. Then when he had moments of clarity, he also panicked because he was confronted by what was happening to him and he knew how his life would end. Even being with his children or grandchildren couldn't assuage the fear we could see in his eyes.
I think of those afflicted with this horrible disease during these frightening times of COVID who may be in memory care facilities and cannot see their loved ones because of this virus. How they must be suffering, panicking because they don't understand why they are alone. I think of the families of those patients and the guilt and inner turmoil they too suffer because they cannot be with their loved ones.
As we watch labs and pharmaceutical companies work night and day to find a vaccine for COVID-19, I pray that those who have been searching for a cure for Alzheimer's and related dementias will not be halted in their work. Although the government gives some assistance to research, that amount has been shown to be woefully insufficient. Most of the research funds come from the people directly affected by Alzheimer's; those of us who have watched it destroy someone we love. And it is from us that the money will come to find a breakthrough, a cure, a vaccine, a miracle.
On October 31, I will walk to end Alzheimer's. This won't be a mass walk as in the past, but I'll walk around the neighborhood hopefully with some friends socially distancing. I invite you to "Walk" with me; whether that walk is around your neighborhood, from the house to the mailbox or from the golf cart to the tee or green. You won't need a Halloween mask; the one you wear to the grocery store will do.
I'm also asking you to support me by giving to the Alzheimer's Association through this web site. In the past I asked for $18, (or any multiple of 18) because the number "chai" in Hebrew means "life". This year, I'm asking for "double chai"; double life to commemorate Ray's life or anyone else who has been afflicted with any form of dementia and then the other life to give hope to our children and families so that they may never have to dread this disease.
With love, Marsha
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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