Hi. Linda here. I'm walking to end Alzheimer's in honor of my mother's on-going struggle. She is in the late stage and no longer knows who anyone is and is always confused about everything. She needs help with everything. Because she is no longer safe at home, she is in a nursing home. Thankfully, they are taking very good care of her. Due to the threat of COVID, I'm no longer able to visit her except through a window--which is really no visit at all. (Although I can bring her her favorite ice cream treat from DQ and watch her enjoy it. Which is wonderful.) Her condition is such that all I can do now is hold her, play familiar songs from my cell phone, do her nails, and comb her hair. All things I cannot do through a pane of glass. It is extremely frustrating and heart-wrenching.
But my mom has not always had AD. My mom was amazing in her youth. She postponed her nursing education to marry my dad in 1958. She later completed her RN training while raising 5 kids under the age of 10 years old. Yikes! And she graduated in 1969 with straight A's at the top of her class! She had a distinguished 32 year career as an RN, working primarily as a Labor and Delivery nurse and even worked a few years as a school nurse. She was a Den Mother and the best Girl Scout Cookie selling assistant ever! She made fabulous meals for our platoon of a family, sung to wake me up in the morning, and left surprise gifts on our beds for us to discover. She loved all of us kids unconditionally and encouraged us in our endeavors. I have never, ever, felt unloved or in any way unwanted by her (or my father.) In short, she has always been my North Star. And I am forever grateful to God she is my mom. Even today, when she has no idea who I am, I still appreciate her, love her as she is, and find comfort and joy in her smile.
Still, Alzheimer's disease is horrible way to lose a loved one. It is a painful, slow-moving loss. It is a grieving process that starts years too soon. It feels surreal at times. Research indicates that 70% of the spouses of Alzheimer's victims die before the person with the disease--whether or not they are the primary care-giver during the end stages. It is easy to understand why.
As our population ages, Alzheimer's Disease will affect most, if not every family in the US. Please join the fight against this heart-crushing disease and donate a bit of money (or a ton of money!) for the cure and for resources for those families that need it. Due to the pandemic, the Walk to End Alzheimer's will not happen in one large group, but in neighborhoods by individuals or very small teams of family or friends. I plan to take a 10K walk around my neighborhood and downtown Georgetown on Saturday September 26th. Thank you for any donation you can manage. My family and millions of other families thank you enormously! ----Linda
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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