I started the walk to end Alzheimer’s to honor my grandma in 2012. I found it as a way to give to her since she was no longer here. I wanted to raise awareness and help find a cure so grandchildren like me could keep their “true” grandparent.
My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s around 2006. She lived with my mom and I for a couple years until the adult daycare could no longer provide for her needs. With us both working fulltime jobs and not able to take a leave of absence, we had to make the difficult decision of putting her in Pleasant Hill in Girard. She was there until she passed away in 2011.
My grandma was a vibrant, funny, and strong woman. She loved to dance and loved putting on parties. Since I was a little girl, she was my best friend and my biggest fan. We spent countless nights playing rummy. I will never forget the smell of her cooking when coming home from school. She loved putting garlic in everything. Her high school friends called her Giny. I got Giny on my Alzheimer’s license plate because I want her to be remembered as that carefree, young at heart beautiful woman that she was.
When I first started to walk it was only for my grandma, unfortunately, now I also walk for many of my friends’ grandmothers/mothers and my aunts. I have one aunt that is currently in a memory care facility. She is the sweetest Aunt. She always has a smile on her face even now she still does. For the most part, she still knows who I am when I come to visit. When I was little, she always gave the best presents. Even with living in St. Louis, she always found time to come visit her family and come to special events for all her nieces and nephews. She has been to all my graduations. I will be “graduating” with my master’s this month and it is on her birthday, so instead of her coming to me, I am coming to her to celebrate.
Thank you for reading this, hopefully this gives you a little light of why I care so much about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Thank you for your support.
Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer's. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Thank you for joining the movement! The end of Alzheimer's disease starts with you.
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