My Mom was diagnosed with the disease shortly after she turned 60, and eventually lost her impossible battle 12 years later at the age of 72. It seemed like everyday she would lose a little more of herself. It was an extremely painful time period for us. I literally remember the last time I heard her say my name, and that was a big deal for me. I was her only child, a true mamas boy, and she spoiled me with the utmost love and attention. In fact, the reason I knew she needed to be tested for Alzheimer's is when she forgot my 30th birthday. That was highly uncharacteristic of her as she always made the biggest deal about my birthday. So, when she no longer recognized me, and stopped saying my name, I was crushed, and will never fully get over that pain. I basically had to say goodbye to some part of her and our relationship for 12 long years. Alzheimer's robbed her of her 60's, a time when most people can start laying back a bit, and enjoy their families and embrace warm memories. It robbed her from being a grandmother, of which she couldn't wait to be one day. It robbed her of her piano students, as she was once a much sought after and beloved piano teacher to hundreds of students. It robbed me of my mother.
I enjoy sharing my story with others because if I can help reach just one person, or raise just $1 for research, then my family's tragedy didn't happen in vain, and at least SOMETHING positive came out of this darkness.
I support the Alzheimer's Association in any way possible, in the hopes that one day, we will have that first survivor of this devastating disease. It is so important, especially during these times to support the Association. They raise funds to to help support caregivers and families affected by the disease, and raise money to help fund research to try to find some kind of prevention and a cure. As I'm sure you are aware, Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death, and has zero survivors. That is unacceptable to me, and something has to be done.
My main form of support for the association is the Walk To End Alzheimer's! As I mentioned before, my mom was a much respected piano teacher, who also taught me the love and ability to play piano. So my main form of fundraising is through piano concerts. Obviously things are different right now, so I had to think "outside the box". I decided to give a few Facebook Live piano concerts, streaming straight from my home, on the very piano that my mom taught on, and I just post the link to my walk team (Cindy's Angels) in the description. I have done 2 broadcasts so far, and raised over $1000 already! I was blown away by all the love and support. It truly showed me that even though we are a part, we can still all come together to fight Alzheimer's.
If you are reading this, you may be in a similar situation as my family and I. Please know that there is a ton of support out there from people like me, and the entire Alzheimer's Association. You can access their helpline 24/7, and someone will ALWAYS be there for you. I also recommend participating in the Walk To End Alzheimer's! The Garden Ceremony is extraordinary as you witness thousands of people, in your shoes, holding up a colorful flower. It's a beautiful and comforting sight to witness, and proof that you are not alone. We are all in this together.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all very much for your support..
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised