Dear friends, family & all who are taking a few moments to read my story:
These past 16 months with COVID-19, front and center for most of it, has impacted ALL of us in ways too many to innumerate here. As the Executive Director of a Senior Living Community, I have personally and professionally been on the front lines and witness to illness, death and the deep grief resulting from both. One of the saddest and most difficult challenges of COVID-19 was the inability to be with loved ones when they were sick or dying in a hospital or nursing home; not to be able to hug, hold a hand, kiss their foreheads and let them hear their loved ones saying "I love you," one last time.
In the midst of COVID-19 and its aftermath, Alzheimer's marches on, robbing people of their memories, their language, their senses, the ability to read, to walk, to smile and laugh. The isolation is the worst! In late October 2020, when I was finally allowed a "window" visit with my mother, it was apparent that she was in a lot of pain and unable to express herself. Because the nursing home where she resides had a second surge of COVID-19, around that time, her needs were not being met and she lost 9 pounds in one month! She weighed less than 95 pounds to begin with. She can no longer feed herself and is on hospice care (she was on Hospice back in 2018, but "graduated" at that time) We are both fully vaccinated and FINALLY I am able to visit her at least 3 times a week. Next week her sister and brother will visit and my brother is able to visit occasionally, as well. Every moment is a precious gift! Sometimes she knows me, sometimes not; but she always knows that I am a person who loves her and I always feel her love for me.
I know that money is still tight for many and fundraising for any cause right now can feel 'wrong' in some way, with so many people out of work, with so many people struggling with health issues and facing concerns about their children's education. Yet, we must continue to raise money towards more effective treatment and a cure for Alzheimer's disease. There are an estimated 5.8 million Americans, 65 years and older living with Alzheimer's in 2020. This does not include those under 65, living with early onset; it's a devastating diagnosis at any age. And, if we continue the course we are on, this number is expected to reach 16 million by 2050. We cannot let that happen!
Please consider a donation in honor of my mom, Marilyn Scully Drumm, who has been living with Alzheimer's for the past 8 years. This woman, Class Talent and Most Mischievous in her high school graduation class of 1952; this woman who raised 4 children; this woman who worked as a bookkeeper, office manager and who never forgot ANYBODY'S birthday or telephone number; this woman who took writing classes and wrote wonderful stories about her life. I am so grateful and blessed that she is still with us--and I miss her, at the same time.
We will walk in person as a group again this year at HOLYOKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE on Sunday, September 26th, I will be walking with our Mason Wright Starfeet Enterprise Team and some of our Mason Wright residents. Please check out our team page and join us!
I hope that, TOGETHER, we will lead the way to Alzheimer's first survivor. I know that my mom will not be that first person cured, but someday, hopefully soon, it will be someone's mom or dad, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, brother or sister.
Sincerely & gratefully,
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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