I am starting my annual Walk to End ALZ fundraising drive to honor my mother, Patricia Hursh. Starting this drive a little late as I always find ways to put this off, since it's not easy to talk about. But it's important so here I am. In her mid-50s my mother began to act strangely and her mental state completely changed. She went from the loving, caring, independent woman to so unstable that she was committed to an institution by the time I was 17. Her mental health went up and down for the next couple years, a few months of good alternating with a few months of bad. For years we struggled to find good care for her and a diagnosis that fit and she was in and out of numerous facilities. It was a frustrating and heartbreaking time for our family. Eventually we found a great place for her and a possible diagnosis, Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, which affects people in their 50s. Over the years she stabilized but started to lose more and more functions each year. After 13 years of living with dementia, she died in 2014.
This will be my sixth walk and my third year on the volunteer walk planning committee. This year's Sacramento Walk is hybrid in person and virtual walk but with the same mission: a world without Alzheimer's and dementia. Find a walk in your community!
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised