Mimi, my 66 year old grandmother lived with us and would pick me up daily from school. Why are the cars honking at us Mimi? Mimi, you are going the wrong way, that’snot where we live. Nights and days got mixed up, and she would wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me to get ready for school. This was the beginning of my Alzheimer's journey as a care provider and family member. I was given the responsibility to care for her after school and on weekends. I was crying and scared. She would cry and say she was scared too. Doctors said nothing was wrong, but she knew,and I knew something was very wrong. I wish that we would have known about the Alzheimer's Association and all of the information and support we could have had access to. I was completely devastated andangry at the world when we admitted her into an Alzheimer's facility. I visit her frequently and began volunteering where I have become emotionally connected to the patients and strive hard to make their day better even if it means just holding their hands andassuring them I am there. I play the piano and entertain patients with games. For many, I am their only visitor. I wondered what is causing thisand why can’t the doctors help them? Could I do something? Baby dolls bring comfort and I am thrilled when Ican provide each patient with their own. I solicited family and friends for donationsof dolls which quickly spread throughout my community and I have donated over 800 baby dolls to patients! Alzheimer’s research is greatlyunder funded and cases are expected to double. I began my awareness and fundraising campaign collecting donations for research. I sell teddy bears and keep increasing my goals where I donated $10,500 in 2022 to the Alzheimer's Association.
My life passion is to advocate for potentialtreatments through public policy and speaking opportunities while bringingcomfort and the best of care to those afflicted. While I tell Mimi what I have done and I know she would be so proud of me, since Covid, she doesn’t recognize me anymore. My Mimi is now in the end stages of Alzheimer's. Although this disease primarily affects those of ages 60+, it creates a great burden on the entire family no matter what age. Knowing and having the Alzheimer's Association to talk to early on would have made a tremendous difference for us and given us valuable training and tools we desperately needed. This is why I do my very best to spread awareness! Thank you for your support. Please join my team and walk :) Olivia
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