My name is Jennifer Rackers. I have been working in the health field for 27 years. I started working in Student Services, where I was introduced to nursing and residents living with the effects of a disease. No one told me about Alzheimer's or Dementia.
After 2 years, I became a CNA. I was proud and worked with a great crew. After 16 years as a CNA, I became an Activity Director. I wanted to help my residents in a different way;I wanted them to have fun despite their illness.
During this time, I would learn about the Walk to End Alzheimer's, and become Team Captain of my own team. I really had no idea what I was supposed to do, but I still did my first walk in 2015. I became very passionate, wanting to do everything I could to raise more money for research to end Alzheimer's.
I became an Advocate and Volunteer and began serving as a Committee Member for the Walk in 2016. I attended my first Memory Day in 2018 and my first Advocacy Forum in 2019.
Despite my previous knowledge and experience, nothing prepared me for the news that a loved one of mine has Dementia. I literally went from knowing what to do , to not knowing a thing. Right now , all the symptoms are mild: slower gate, slower speech, difficulty in finding the words to express thoughts and feelings. getting days mixed up, and forgetting familiar faces in pictures.
I went from being a caregiver for 8-16 hours a day to being caregiver for 24 hours every day. I am thankful for the friends I have made through the years as a volunteer , and through advocating. Knowing that there is a support group for families, and knowing there is a toll-free number I can call anytime for answers, is a great comfort.
My person journey is an important part of why I do this. I have over 25 years of witnessing the heartache of shattered families, and the joyful moments of love. I have cared for those suffering from the thief of memories. I have seen the effects of this disease on my residents, their families , and even among my coworkers. This disease has broken my heart countless times. One day, we will end this suffering.
Please help me bring this terrible disease to an end. I ask for your help. Your donation will help to provide for support groups and to educate the public. It help keep the toll-free number in operation so that there is always help available for those who need it. Most importantly, it will help continue the research for better treatments, and perhaps, someday, the miracle of a cure. Please donate today, and help #ENDALZ.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised