When my grandmother, Dorothy Klein, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2002, I was 11 almost 12 years old. As a kid at that age and to be told that your grandmother had Alzheimer's, I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what it was, what it did to a person, how to spell it or even know how to pronounce it. Through the 5 years that my grandmother had this disease, each day, week and year she got worst.
The hardest part, before she got the help she had, was receiving phone calls for my mom to come over where Grandma wanted to go home. By home, it wasn't the home she shared with my grandfather and eight children, but it was the home where she was raised at in the South Hills. My mom would tell her that Grandma, my great grandmother, was with another relative and wanted her to stay put at her house. It usually worked but it was hard to watch and realize that the grandmother that I grew very fond of was not completely there. Her body was present but her mind and memory wasn't as it was when I was younger. When we laughed, she would laugh even though she didn't fully understand what was said or the joke that was said.
My grandmother lost her battle with Alzheimer's in April of 2007, just 3 days after my birthday! We miss her everyday and continue to live on her legacy that both her and my grandfather have bestowed on us. I can still hear her laugh when my mom and her two sisters are together laughing. We continue our Polish traditions that she passed on to her children and grandchildren. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother!
She was and continue to be a great inspiration to me. This pass April, my birthday month and the anniversary month of my grandmother's passing, I did a birthday fundraiser and raised a good amount of money for my team, Team Polka Dots. I still wish to do a yearly birthday fundraiser to continue on my goal for each year doing this walk. By doing this walk, it has helped to better my understanding and knowledge on Alzheimer's and how I can help those who need the help, including those who are witnesses towards this terrible disease! This is my 5th year doing this walk and it is on my yearly bucket list of walks to do!
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
I have raised