I'm walking to help reclaim the future for millions on October 24. By participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®, I'm committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care and support.
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 need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer's. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Thank you for joining the movement! The end of Alzheimer's disease starts with you.
The following is my personal family story from 4 years ago. Since then, 4 more of my friends have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related dementia. As I reported last year, my brother Bob developed the condition some years ago. His wife, Vicki, heroically provided his care until a year or so ago when he moved into an excellent care facility in Chicago. Sadly, I have to report for those who have not heard, Bob suffered a stroke last winter on top of the Alzheimer's and passed away in early March. He is greatly missed by his loving family and friends. Unfortunately, due to the COVid19 situation, we have been unable to celebrate his life with a proper "in person" service. I am dedicating this year's Fundraising effort to Bob Grose. My family will still Walk in honor of Sally Grose, Bill Grose, other friends, and all who have developed the condition or have faced the extreme difficulties of caregiving. However, this year I will be thinking more about Bobby-Gilman and Yale Grad, star athlete at both and All-American Midfielder at Yale, wonderful family man, successful businessman, and the coolest big brother anyone could have!
I know this is not a scientific statement, but the number of people that I know with this diagnosis makes me feel like the problem is suffered by many more than the 5,000,000 in this country that is commonly quoted. this is certainly true if you properly include all the caregivers and loved ones involved.This number is expected to grow exponentially over the next 30 years as our population ages. So something must be done!
I have not changed the following story since last year. I still hope you will review it and think about a generous donation. Some people have asked if I am discouraged by the lack of progress towards a cure. Of course I am. However, I am encouraged by the increase in understanding of the disease process. I am also very encouraged that increased funding has attracted great young minds working on the problem. I was privileged to witness this personally at the World Convention in D.C. several years ago. I also know that the funding is valuable for improving standards of care and support for families who must deal with this horror. So, nothing new below except the Walk this year will be started on October 24 with some on-line ceremony after which the individual Walkers and Teams will venture out in their own people pods anywhere they wish. If you don't read on, I will make a plea now-please donate to this cause or donate and walk with me. Instructions are on this page and at the end of this text. Thanks again for your help!
My parents were both very active people. My Dad was a Hopkins general surgeon and my Mom did everything for her husband and 4 children. She was a great athlete who passed much of that great athleticism on to my brother Bob, and some to the other 3 children. Dad told us she was an All-State Basketball player in High School in Kansas. My parents met in college at Depauw University. He went on to Hopkins Med School. She got a Master's Degree in Social Work from the U. of Chicago. After we children grew up and moved away by her 60's, she reestablished her Social Work credentials and went back to work for the Catholic School system in Baltimore. She kept up her tennis, and added golf and running, competing in marathons and winning gold medals at the Senior Olympics at Towson U. Did I mention she was one of the Gilman Original Gilman Lady Joggers? 2 miles a day around the old cinder track almost every day for 20-years or so. Later in life, in her late seventies, she audited a Neurology Course at Hopkins taught by Dr. Guy Mckhann, a good friend. Mom was the poster child for doing everything recommended for maintaining mind and body- physical fitness with an actively engaged mind and social life.
After a year or so of auditing, Dr. McKhann asked her to write a paper-not for a grade, but to demonstrate her understanding. She labored with this for months, finally producing something Dad could look at. What he read shocked him. The paper made no sense whatsoever. It was not simply a case of her miscomprehension. It was completely nonsensical. Meanwhile, friends who were used to her never missing a shot in tennis, noticed that she was suddenly unable to hit a backhand-at all. Unbeknownst to my sibs and me, Dad was becoming aware of many more oddities: failure to recognize ordinary objects, inappropriate dress, increasing withdrawal and apathy. Soon he was taking care of her in every way. Every way. Mom was a quiet person, and he somehow managed to hide this from the children and public for a long time. His medical knowledge helped greatly, but he took on her care himself into their eighties.
Finally, they moved to Roland Park Place, where, to the disappointed surprise of my brother Bob and me, he placed her in the Care Facility. I'm ashamed to say it, because I saw them often, but I didn't understand the severity of her condition-Alzheimer's Disease. Dad had hidden this too well. I still can't imagine how he was able to shoulder this burden well into his eighties, but he did. It was quickly clear to us that she was where she needed to be for both of them. She could be cared for by the staff, and spend time with him in his apartment upstairs. He could also elevator downstairs to visit her in the facility to make certain her care was being handled properly. My dear wife Amy and dear friend Gerry Bailey furnished her single room with familiar furniture from home. We all visited her frequently. Gerry even took her out for some adventures until that became impossible even for Wonder Woman Gerry. Visiting became more and more difficult as her condition worsened. She no longer recognized us, although her face continued to seem to brighten a little when my Dad walked in the room. Mom passed away in late November of 2001 of complications from Alzheimer's. We liked to think that she got through that last Thanksgiving before letting go. Dad died about a year and a half later, just short of 90, from a sudden massive stroke.
This is my parents' Alzheimer's story. It is also the Alzheimer's story of my siblings and their children. It is also a familiar story to millions of other families victimized by this disease. It is not at all unusual. We were fortunate to have the family financial well-being to help with care, support and residence. The level of care and support was pretty good for the time, and the living proximity of my parents was advantageous. Our experience began my focus on the issue. Other considerations caused me to become more involved. First was the understanding that most people don't have the financial wherewithal to deal with this. Typically, care has to be provided by family members in the home. This is time consuming, frustrating, and often disastrous to family finances. I realized that for all the families I knew who could afford this, there were many more who could not. Secondly, I had friends and knew of others whose spouses suffered from Early Alzheimer's. Symptoms commonly surface around age 50 and the condition rapidly worsens. This often involves a parent of college or even high school aged children and frequently results in serious family conflict as individuals struggle to first believe and then deal with the realities of the condition.
And so, about six years ago, I joined the Board of the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland. I wish I had known about this organization 18 or so years ago. Here is a great source for information, support, and advice to people in need. A great example is that the Association offers 24 hour phone support. Anyone who has a family member with Alzheimer's knows that this is a 24 hour a day condition. Affiliated with the National Association, they are also the leading proponent for increased funding of research into solving this problem. This funding and research needs to grow. I've always thought of my Mother as living a life that was the perfect example of how to live in order to stave off or prevent dementia. Obviously, it is not enough. Although research has finally shown progress in understanding the course of the disease, there is much more needed to alleviate the symptoms and hopefully, find a cure.
On Saturday, October 24, I am going to support the Alzheimer's battle in the Greater Baltimore City Walk. I know I have asked you to support me a number of times before, and I am asking you to contribute again to help with this cause that touches all of us. This Walk, one of a number held in this State and throughout the country, is the major source of fundraising for the organization and all the good work it accomplishes, so it is very important. So please go to the website and help us. Join the walk, start a team, contribute to me, or to my team through me (Team Grose is the team name-I've gone rogue from the Board Walkers of previous years). All you have to do is go now to http://act.alz.org/goto/GeorgeGrose and contribute to my fundraising effort. You can also join the Team Grose and walk with us. To join our team to walk, you can go to act.alz.org/goto/TeamGrose. It's a fun event! If you have any problems, call the 24 hour telephone Hotline at 1-800-272-3900.
If you don't like to contribute on line, you can also send a check directly to me made out to the Alzheimer's Association. That address is 1412 LaBelle Avenue, Ruxton, MD. 21204. Make sure to write Team Grose Baltimore 2020 Walk on the check so that Baltimore, my team, and I all get proper credit. You can also use the mail donation form at the top of the page. Click on the icon, fill out the form, and mail the check and form to the P.O. Box listed.
Please help out. This is a problem that will only get much worse with time, unless a cure is found. Our population is growing older and the numbers affected increase with age.
Thanks for your help-again.
To contribute, go to http://act.alz.org/goto/GeorgeGrose
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
I have raised
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