Why do I walk? I walk this year to honor the LOVE & life of my Uncle James "George" Marcantonio who passed this February of vascular dementia. I walk in honor of who he was to me and my family and the overwhelming love and support of his large family tree branch.
This past year affected us all, but the most hard hit were the elderly, and those with a form of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for those who try and live a life with memory loss and other intellectual abilities that seriously interfere with daily life: be it Alzheimer's Disease, Vascular dementia, Parkinson's Disease related, Mixed dementia, or Lewy Body Dementia, Traumatic brain injury, Huntington's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Normal pressure hydrocephalus, MCI- mild cognitive impairment, Down Syndrome dementia- very similar to Alzheimer's disease, Korsakoff syndrome, PCA- Posterior cortical atrophy, andFTD- Frontotemporal Dementia suffered greatly from the isolation from families while being cared for in special nursing homes or at home with their family caregivers, with not much relief.
I learned my cousin, Melody stepped into the role of caregiver for her dad, my Uncle George and to help my Aunt Fern. I fully understand what she undertook in taking this step in her life and the many rewards and the sacrifices you make daily. Yet, you do not live with any regrets in giving 100% to your loved one regardless of if they know you that day. My uncle had one of the best sense of humors, was physically active most of his life, and surrounded himself with not only his children but their children and even great grandchildren. He impacted many lives in his 94 years and yet near the end of his journey his memories and recognition of his loved ones started to go due to vascular dementia.
Its beyond scary and who wants to live a life where you feel helpless and have blanks in your memories. I have worked closely with the Alzheimer's Association for 7 years as a volunteer trying to learn more about the disease and HOPEFUL break-through in research for early detection, possible cures, and ways to prepare for each stage of the disease be it financially, emotionally, care-giver roles, and how to take care of not only your loved one but yourself. Its a heartbreaking disease that robs you of so very much.
So, if you would like to help me in making a difference and finding that 1st survivor- THANK YOU. Please help if you can, enjoy life and be thankful and grateful for each day as the gift it is. Love knows no boundaries. I am my mom's care advocate and am thankful for each and every day.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised