My name is Stewart Bale, and I am a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual here in Grand Junction, CO. I am also a member of the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer's Association for Colorado.
Alzheimer's has dramatically affected my family. In May of 2017, I held my mother's hand as she succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer's and passed away six days after her 65th birthday. In addition, my mother's younger brother passed away this past year after a four-year battle with the same disease.
My story of losing my mother was complicated. I took her for granted because I didn't expect to lose her so young in life. When I was a child, my parents read the children's book "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. As they were reading, they would fight back the tears, and in my youth, I couldn't comprehend the meaning behind the book. The fundamental ideas of the book are that life is finite, and our parents love us unconditionally. As my mother was nearing the end, I bought a new copy and read it to her. This book that should have taken 10 minutes to read took me 45 minutes because of my uncontrollable crying. My mother was inaudible at the time and after I finished the book I told her I was sorry and that I loved her. I can't be sure, but I could have sworn she said, "It is okay Stewart" and that gives me comfort. In the end, the book was placed in my mother's coffin so that she will have a copy for when I see her again.
This year my beautiful wife and I brought a healthy baby daughter into this world. In the last four generations of my family, the firstborn has been a boy. I was fully expecting to have a son, but I broke that pattern and had a girl. We named her after her maternal grandmother and after my mom. I am not a religious person, but I believe my mom had something to do with that.
2017 remains the most traumatic year of my life, and supporting the Alzheimer's Association is the way I can help spread awareness about this disease and honor my mother. Your donations go directly to funding research to slowing and ultimately stopping this disease. In addition, the Alzheimer's Association provides support, counseling, and educational resources to help those afflicted with the disease and their caregivers. We dream that one day, no child will have to bear the emotional burden of looking into their parent's eye and realizing that their mom or dad doesn't recognize them.
It would be an honor to have you walk with me, and I look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised