Why We Walk:
Why We Walk: Actors & Artists Unite began in May of 2011 via a series of phone calls and emails to my family and fellow artists and friends around the country -- "Gang- I have this idea…" By September, four teams walked in Washington DC, New York City, Miami and Los Angeles and raised $23,000 in their first year. In 2013, Actors and Artists Unite became the first non-corporate Friends and Family National Team for the Walk to End Alzheimer's. We have teams from Massachusetts to Florida; from California to New York; from Wisconsin to Texas to and a wonderful team that is based in New York and London, England. In December of 2021, the Actors & Artists Unite National Team reached the historic goal of having raised over $330,000.
I read the stories of all of our teams - "I lost my grandmother… my dad… we are at the point of having to put our mom in a facility. She is wandering out of the house and most of the time- she doesn't know us." So many families- so much loss and suffering. AA Unite was built by reaching out to our families, friends, and colleagues around the country via word of mouth and social media. We would hear- "I'm walking in with you in Texas! We just started a team in Tennessee!" Through this team, I have discovered the compassion and strength of the artistic community around the country. Now that we are a national team, it is always so thrilling to hear "Nance, I have a friend who works at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I have another friend who works at Disney. Do we have a team in Ashland? Do we have a team in Orlando?" and I get to say, "We do now!"
I lost my father in the summer of 2019 - he had Dementia. I had promised him - "A cure in our lifetime." Now, I work that much harder, walk that much further to keep my half of that promise - a cure in mine. We walk for our own loved ones and for each other. We walk for anyone who knows how heartbreaking it is to look in the eyes of someone you love and have them not know you- to watch them fade away until they can no longer speak or move. This is Alzheimer's.
We walk for a cure. We walk to bring light out of all this darkness. And when we walk in hope and strength for a future- that all can remember - we walk in glory.
So, come join us! Come walk with us! Anyone who appreciates the arts- come join us! All are welcome! Our goal is to have a team in every state of this country! And as we Irish say - Slainte!!"