Over 20 years ago, my Mom and I began participating in the Memory Walk (as it was called then) in honor and memory of her brothers, Tommy and Jackie.
For the last 9 years, I have been walking in support of my Mom who was also diagnosed with this horrible disease and is now in the late stages on Hospice. The impact that COVID-19 and the resulting isolation had on my Mom was devastating. The decline has been significant and being unable to see her, hug her or protect her myself for so many months was simply torture. She no longer recognizes me as her daughter and when I visit her each day, I have to remember to only address her as "Alecia". I've learned that calling her "Mom" now only serves to confuse and upset her. As you can imagine, that's been a really difficult adjustment for me.
In spite of all that my Mom has been through, she is still my rock and the one I look up to and admire most. She is the strongest person I will ever know and still having her here is a blessing to me. People have asked me, "How do you do it? How do you go there every day, isn't it hard? Isn't it just heartbreaking?". I tell them, "Yes, absolutely, it is killer. But it's not about me or how it makes *me* feel. It's about her and how she feels. No one deserves my loyalty and devotion more than my Mom". She is/was just an incredible role model and mother, not to mention being my best and truest friend. Even though her ability to communicate is severely limited at this point, I still genuinely enjoy her company and miss her when I don't see her. Some people think that people like my Mom don't realize or remember whether you visit them or not. I believe they do.
So many of you have been a great support for my family throughout this journey. Honestly, I’m not sure where we would be without you. I have prayed and prayed that a cure would be found in time for my Mom, but that was not meant to be. However, I know she would want me to continue to fight and continue to advocate for those like her. I’m hopeful that by participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's® every year and with every dollar we raise, we are one step closer to the FIRST Alzheimer's survivor.
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.
My Team is "Movin' Mountains for Mom" (http://act.alz.org/site/TR?fr_id=14735&pg=team&team_id=664275) and we will be walking on October 23rd this year. Please join me!
Or if you are unable, feel free to make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
Together, we must bring an END to Alzheimer's disease!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me in this fight!
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised