When I was a little girl growing up, my Grandmother Emily was exactly what I aspired to be. She was poised, elegant, sophisticated and kind. Well traveled, well read and unfailingly polite and refined in all of her interactions. By the time I was in my teens, I realized that my particular brand of outspoken, comedy enducing personality and exuberance were not going to allow me to follow in her regal footsteps afterall, and I told her I was disappointed that I would not live up to the great role model that she had established for me. And she sat me down and looked me right in the eye and told me how she wished she had lived in a time when women could freely speak their mind, endeavor to be whatever they wanted, and that she had my courage and resilience. How she had always wanted to be like ME. This was her greatest gift. To always see the best in people, and bring that to the forefront. To make others feel special and important. When Alzheimer's disease stole her away from us, it took not only her memory and dignity, but also her peace and comfort. She became a fearful and suspicious person, terrified of the world around her. It was a very long goodbye, as it is for all of our families. I Walk to end this terrible disease. I Walk to preserve the dignity and lives of the millions of people who are counting on us to find a cure. My grandmother died in 1995, and we still have no cure, and no meaningful treatments. We cannot wait any longer to see this as the crisis it is for our country, and our families. We must act. Join us as we Walk. For all of the memories lost, for all of the broken hearts, for all of the long goodbyes. For Emily. I love you Grandma. xo CJ
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