What a journey this has been and thank you all that have been on this journey with me and I remain grateful for your support.
This will be a milestone year - my 10th year walking in honor of my mom and all those impacted by this progressive disease.
In these 10 years we have seen great progress with increased awareness nationwide, more legislation at the local and national level, more support and care programs and getting closer to a world without Alzheimer's and all forms of dementia through important research efforts. Great strides but there's a lot more work needed until we have a cure, a way to slow the progression and prevent the disease from taking away more of our loved ones.
If you are in a position to contribute now or any time during the year, it is a gift that we all will benefit from because none of us are immune to Alzheimer's disease or any form of dementia. Donate at: http://act.alz.org/goto/MaryFus.
I continue to share my story every year, but my story is really my mom's story. It's the reason why I walk.
It was only a few weeks before my 7th birthday that my dad passed away, leaving my mom to raise five children between the ages of 7 and 13 on her own.
Mom, full of love for her kids, her faith and extended family and friends, not only worked hard to bring up her own children, but extended herself and whatever she had to help others. She was always grateful for what she had and did not focus on what she did not have. She shared our home with others until they could get on their feet; she not only took care of her grandkids while their parents worked but she also took in other kids that also needed a place to stay while their parents worked.
Mom taught herself to cook and loved cooking for others. Whether she cooked for her family or for friends or church events, often for a crowd of 50 or more, she did it effortlessly, and with love. If you were fortunate enough to know my mom, you know what a strong, dedicated, giving and active person she was. Alzheimer's disease has taken away her ability to live independently; to do the things she enjoyed in the past; the ability to cook and to venture out of the house on her own, and sadly, the ability to retain precious memories.
Most of her memories now are in the moment, so fleeting - lost within minutes, even seconds. As the disease continues to progress, basic things we take for granted are forgotten, and confusion taken to another level. She doesn't recognize her 5 children any longer, but she seems to still know our names, so we hold on to that for as long as we can.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised
Elite Grand Champion