My paternal grandfather, Verlin, donated his body for the cause of Alzheimer's research in 2006 after struggling with the disease for years. I have very few memories of him before he was living in a full time care facility. His sister, Elsie, also battled Alzheimer's. The two of them would sometimes speak Swedish to one another which was a skill none of us knew they retained from their childhood. It was truly amazing. Our brains are incredibly complex.
My maternal grandfather, Don, has Lewy Body dementia. As anyone who has seen this disease up close knows, there are good days and bad days. Don has lived in La Crosse his whole life and his ability to recall what business used to be on what corners of what streets is a treasure. He dutifully cared for his mother as she lived with dementia too. This generational trauma and foreseeing my own potential struggle with this disease has motivated me to walk; to use my body, not to meekly accept what may be coming to me, but to fight for research, innovation, early intervention, and hopefully, a cure. Every moment of this precious life counts and I want to use mine to change things for the better.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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