The 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer is only a few weeks away - September 12! This will be our fifth year participating in this incredible event. This is a small piece of our story that I presented on a virtual meeting today.
August 20, 2020
My invitation to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's arrived in June, 2015 with my older sister, Sheri's diagnosis of Alzheimer's, at the age of 68. Sheri was a single, independent business owner in San Francisco who travelled the world learning of history, politics, and art. On the day we learned of her diagnosis, I vowed that I would care for her. My education began!
When I first mentioned the Walk to Sheri, she enthusiastically embraced the idea of starting a team. Together, we came up with the name, gathered emails and away we went!
At the same time, I reached out for support from Collabria Care, Alzheimer Association with Teepa Snow Conferences, avid reading with a diligence to learn what and how the upcoming stages may present; always different for each individual. My husband, Bruce, and Sheri's lifelong friend, Kathleen, have been with me in making difficult, but necessary decisions as the fears and self-doubt surfaced. Because I could not, Bruce asked Sheri for her car keys when she could no longer drive. Kathleen made a commitment to travel long distances to visit her dear friend and support me on a weekly basis. Our three children have listened, worried, and contributed to Sheri's care as well, mostly bringing her laughter in light hearted ways!
Today, Sheri is mostly in her own world; she continues to be active, social with smiles and laughter, and occasionally her witty ways surface. I remind myself: Sheri is who she is, but different! Her strong independence and eye for design are always a part of her. At Aegis, she continually refuses to wear a mask! Slowly she removes and folds it, gently returning it. The mask may not be stylish enough?!
For me and all who support people with Alzheimer's, it can be a devastating time. Sheri has given me many gifts over the years; most of all to appreciate the beauty of the moment. During this pandemic, I now sit quietly on one side of a glass wall, Sheri on the other. We each color in silence, at times with music. I ask myself, What does she understand with such confusion? All is beyond my control. She is peaceful and so am I!
Our team walks in hopes of finding a cure so our loved ones can leave this world in perhaps a kinder way.
Thank you for helping to raise awareness and funds for this cause.
XO Judy & Sheri
We have raised