I would like to start off by telling you why this foundation means so much to me. My Grandpa was a stickler. He was one of those Grandpas that always gave me a hard time about my boyfriends or my grades. When we went to his house, he would always remind us to NOT TOUCH THE REMOTE or we will screw up the TV. He also has this yippy dog that he trained to be his shadow. He was warm and kind, and always provided love to all of his grand kids. Even when I got older, he would offer to make me a Bulldog the second I walked in the door(I always turned him down because I never drank in front of my Grandparents).Then, 6 years ago, my Grandpa started acting pretty antisocial. He would come to our family events and get super crabby and irritated by the littlest of things. He always wanted to leave as soon as possible and get back to the privacy of his own home. This was very unlike him and was our first indication that something might be wrong. Since then, he was diagnosed with Dementia and would later be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, his Alzheimer’sis very advanced and he is in a nursing home down in the cities that specializes in memory care patients. He is under Hospice care and has elected to not receive treatment to prolong his life. Our fear is that he will not make it through the summer but our strong hope is that we will have him for more years to come. A few weeks ago we celebrated his 85th birthday. Hel oves music so when we finished singing the Happy Birthday Song to him (which he be-bopped to the whole time), he clapped and asked if we sing it again.Moments like those are pretty rare these days so it was good to see. He is fighting really hard but it is taking a huge toll on my family.
8/2019 update: My Grandpa is still holding on. He may no longer have his memories or ability to fend for himself but he is a fighter. He has had Alzheimer's for 8 years now and is reaching the end of his battle.
I do the Alzheimer’s walk every year and try to raise as much money as possible because it holds a permanent spot in my heart. With this disease, there is little that we can do. So, getting out there and walking, showing support, raising money for research, and bringing awareness is just a little thing that I feel I can do for him at this point in his life.
11/2019 Update: My Grandpa Willie fought a very strong battle and he hung on to life as long as he could. He met God earlier this fall and was reunited with some of his loved ones. It was a bitter sweet time in our lives. On one hand, we are extremely sad that we no longer have him around. On the other hand, we are relieved and at peace knowing that he is no longer suffering. I will continue to work hard to raise money for Alzheimer's as long as I am able. It is the one thing I can do to show him that this doesn't need to be our reality forever. There are millions of people out there that can benefit from additional research and innovation. I know he would be proud.
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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