On Thursday, March 12, 2020, my streak of consecutive days visiting my mom, Amy Shimkus, came to a sudden and unexpected end. Eight years into her Alzheimer’s journey, she lived in a nursing home one mile from my home, in Saratoga Springs, New York, where I worked as the president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. Two days earlier, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and now the virus, the fear of it, and how our government responded disrupted our lives and economy in more ways and for far longer than we could have imagined. It would be 363 days before my mom and I were reunited, and more than two years until New York’s state of emergency was lifted. After we were reunited, I continued to visit her every day following whatever protocols were required until she passed on March 23, 2022. My sister, Tracy, called what I did to care for my mom and to save my community, a “crusade.” This may be a slight exaggeration, but what I learned about Alzheimer’s, being a caregiver, and resilience needs to be shared. That’s why I wrote a book, “I’m Not Ready For This,” which was published in March of 2023. To honor my mom, I am donating every dollar of profit to the Amy’s Army team in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. If you donate at least $50 to our team, you will get a copy of this book.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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