Although the disease affected Kathy's brain and abilities she was determined to show how strong her heart and soul was up to the very end. She inspired others, created laughter, and one of her dying wishes was that her body be used for research to help find a cure. Jena's family was able to find joy in her mother's passing when the Anatomical Education Program at IU School of Medicine accepted her body as her gracious final donation to the world.
Over the years of my friendship with Jena, she has been a caregiver to her mom with the everyday help of her Aunt Beth, grandmother Ellie, other family, friends, and eventually paid help. I saw first hand how much her family was affected by this disease. We immediately bonded from the beginning of our friendship and I see so many great qualities in Jena that her mom possessed when others describe Kathy. Jena is one of the strongest and most caring people I know and always finds a way to put others first. In your late twenties you are not prepared to become a caregiver to a parent. Most of us are still figuring out the game of life. There are so many things Jena had to learn along the way and it wasn't always easy to be a caregiver, but Jena and her moms heart and strength kept them fighting for more time together. As an outsider looking in, Jena and her family have shown me how important it is to enjoy the little things in life and cherish the time we have with those around us.
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.
Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association in honor of Jena and her mom Kathy.
Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer's!
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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