GIVING TUESDAY STORIES
Alexandra Lepore- Manhattan:
My Nonna(grandma in Italian) Gracie was my favorite person in the world. Even though we had a little bit of a language barrier it was never an issue. My Nonna grew up in a little town in Italy and came to NY with her three kids in the 70s. My Nonna and her husband worked day and night to achieve the “American Dream”. They did that and were successful home owners. When my Nonno passed away in 1992 my Nonna and I actually became closer than ever. We did all sorts of things together, go food shopping, get her hair done or go visit her friends she hadn’t seen. When my Nonna was diagnosed with dementia, and alzheimer’s I felt a pain like no other. The feeling she wouldn’t remember me is what scared me the most. Unfortunately my Nonna passed away in February of 2018. I think my favorite memory of us is knowing she saw me cross the stage at my college graduation, I was the first person ever in my family to do so. I know grandparents aren’t supposed to have favorites but I was her favorite. I would do anything to have more time with my Nonna. I will continue to fight for the disease that took my Nonna away from me.
I support the cause, because we personally lost a couple of loved ones to Alzheimer's and I support millions of others who either suffer from or have lost the battle to this dreadful disease. I will continue to join in the fight to create a World whereas Alzheimer's will no longer exist. A special thank you to both, Juel and Jose for cheering me on and supporting me in the fight. 💜 To the rest of my family as well.
Anna Lee Sadocha- Manhattan:
In 2020, my dad was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently, he is only 57 years old. I walked in support of my dad prior to disease, my dad now living with the disease, my mother who is main caregiver to my dad, for my siblings who have also lost the dad they know and anyone/everyone affected by this disease! Was beautiful to gather together and walk in support of our loved ones and recognize that we are not alone.
Ashley Nyman- Manhattan:
This picture is of me, my mom and my cousin Tammy when Tammy's Alzheimer's was starting to progress. Our family found out Tammy had Alzheimer's in 2019. She was only 55 years old at the time. I felt helpless and wanted to contribute in some way. So I was a runner and ran marathons in the past, I always wanted to run in the New York Marathon and I found out I could run it by raising money for the Alzheimer's Association. I raised money for the Alzheimer's Association and thought of all those struggling with Alzheimer's, specifically Tammy, while I was running and as I crossed the finish line.
How Tammy's Diagnosis Started:
She was working as a dog groomer, had her own successful business and started to notice things were off. She suddenly seemed to forget how to groom a dog. She started going in for tests and was diagnosed. Tammy then moved in with my aunt and uncle to have them take care of her. My uncle had just turned 78 and my aunt had just retired. They ended up selling Tammy's house to pay for expenses. Tammy's Alzheimer's really started to progress quickly and as my uncle got older, it started to really take a toll on him. My aunt and uncle were looking at assisted living centers for Tammy with no luck and they were on a waiting list. They were able to put Tammy into an assisted living center about a year and a half later and Tammy passed away January 10th of 2023. Before Tammy went into a nursing home, I was at a family gathering with her and I asked her how she feels and if she knows what is happening to her. She said sometimes she gets scared and does not know what is happening to her. I then told her that my aunt, uncle, mom and I are there for her and she is not alone.
Why I'm involved with the Alzheimer's Committee at Edward Jones:
To try to make a difference and support those like my cousin who have Alzheimer's and their families who are caring for them. This is also a cause that is near and dear to my heart.
Jessica Romero- Brooklyn:
My father, Ivan Romero Rivera, has gained his wings on Sunday, September 3rd after suffering from Dementia - Alzheimer’s. He was first diagnosed almost 10 years ago and unfortunately there still has not been further advancement in delaying the progression so that families can spend more time with their loved ones. Alzheimer’s is a slow and devastating disease. I signed up for this walk to honor him and to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Association and as a family we plan to continue yearly.
I’m actually not doing a walk, I’m doing a marathon in February with “The Longest Day”. I’m honoring my grandfather who had Alzheimer’s for over a decade. I hope to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s to the biggest extent I can. I do worry that my mom (my grandfather’s daughter) will also develop Alzheimer’s when she is older as it is partly genetic. My goal is $10,000, but hopefully I can even surpass that.