is fundraising to honor:
all those facing Alzheimer's
On October 16, 2019, my life’s trajectory changed as I was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment consistent with Alzheimer’s disease likely to become Dementia. I’m 55 years old. DANG!
My doctor told me if I had a bucket list, I should start doing it. One of my bucket list items has always been to qualify for the Kona IRONMAN in Hawaii. However, due to multiple surgeries plus the fact I am not an elite athlete, I guessed my best shot to qualify would be when I reached age 75. And I was the only one in my age bracket.
Within hours of my diagnosis, I contacted Sarah Hartmann at The IRONMAN Foundation. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to race Kona on October 9, 2021.
You see the math is bad with Alzheimer’s. Once diagnosed, your life expectancy is between 3 and 20 years with an average of 8. I’m 55, and 75 is now at the far end of the probability matrix. And, because Alzheimer’s is a cruel thief stealing your vocabulary, memory, and basic cognitive functions, it is unclear how many of those years will be good ones.
So today I am in a battle for my mind. Though the outlook isn’t positive, my perspective is. I am strong and full of gratitude as I attack this thing with everything I have. I can’t control what has happened, but I can control how I respond. I am religiously following the Mediterranean diet, vigorously exercising daily, prioritizing getting good sleep, and doing yoga, tai-chi and a litany of brain games and things like Sudoku.
I told my doctor there’s always an outlier, and that I’m going find a way to beat this, and he could write the book. This is my goal and mission. It’s game time – Time to bring it!
At this point in my journey, I have been so touched by many of your stories, as this disease has affected you or someone you know and love. I would like to take that spirit of those individuals with me to Kona by dedicating a mile for each of the 140.6 of this IRONMAN. Anyone that has a dog in this fight is welcome to a mile. Because of Covid-19 and the current economic disruption, I'm not asking for any monetary contributions. I've got that covered. When things get better, I'd appreciate
your consideration in helping the Alzheimer's Association defeat this brutal disease.
Email your mile dedications to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post them below.
I thank God for the gift of TODAY – CARPE DIEM!
1 I pray Griffin and Elsa Jaworski do not have the ALZ genetic marker - Dan Jaworski
2 Jerie Dvkovitz
3 Scott Finley
4 Micheal Dorn
5 - Dorthy (Dot) June Rossetto. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother.
An adventurous women who loved to travel, lived to the fullest and loved her family and
friends dearly. Alzheimer's took her far too soon. Was born on 5th of June.
7 - taken
9 - Connie Elpers. She has 9 grandchildren . She was naturalist at the Great Plains Nature Center and loves the outdoors. Loves Kids.
10 - Patrica Joyce. Was a nurse. Diagnosed at 67 she lived with the disease for 10
years. She was a force and had an independent spirit. Raised four kids to be self and
12 - Marilyn Napoletan was a beloved mother, gram, aunt, mentor, and friend to many. She touched countless lives with her wisdom, sense of humor, and above all, her love. Marilyn fought a courageous decade-long battle against Alzheimer's. She is missed more than words can say.
14 - Patty Biggs. She was a physical phenom for her generation, even hiking the
Rockies into her early 80's. Was determined to overcome the disease even though it
terrified her as she was her grandmother's caregiver. Her strong spirit broke through the
disease all the way up to end by showing her children she was still Patty in big ways
and small. Her love of life, strong determination, and steely will enabled her to live most
of that time to the fullest. She loved people, to laugh, dance and celebrated everything.
She loved life.
16 - Jimmy Street an amazing man of great faith. Husband, father, and grandpa. Never met a stranger and was loved by all who knew him.
18 - Nihal Kurdoglu
19 - Cristina Gallo
20 - John Armisto: Forever a fighter, now our guardian angel...
21 - Leora Gaines Loveless. Awesome mother who loved her children more than anything.
22 - Ruby McCarthy Gaines. Graduate of Albion Academy. Accomplished music teacher, church organist, community leader, traveler (visited every state but Utah).
23 - Robert Comeford. He was diagnosed 7 years ago with Alzheimers. Easter weekend in 2019 he finished his race. My dad fought a good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith.
24 - Sarah Elizabeth Releford.
25 - To Joyce Boothe, who was diagnosed at age 57 and passed away in 2018 at age 63. She was a kind, beautiful, intelligent woman. Alzheimer's stole her from us, but we are grateful for her life each day.
26 - Dr. Louis "Papa" Heyman was diagnosed with Alzheimer's after practicing medicine for 50 yrs. He passed away 6 years ago, but before he passed, Run4Papa was created to raise awareness for #ALZ on all 7 continents in honor of him and all people fighting against dementia around the world.
27 - Leslie
28 - Carmen Fair. Mother of 4. Grandmother of 8.
29 - Marty Keegan.
30 - Leonard Fussel, age 75. He loved his children and his grandchildren so much. He is missed.
31 - Connie from Copenhagen. Diagnosed with Alz at 53 in 2007. Amazing mum of 3.
Worked as a social health assistant for more than 30 years. Known for her loving,
attentive, giving and caring nature.
32 - Connie Wagner, great mom, Grandma, Aunt and Cousin to the Jaworski's! She lived life to the fullest and Alzheimer's took her too soon.
33 - Catherine Davis.
34 - James McCracken.
36 - Joel Mitchell.
38 - Bobby Lee
40 - Jim & Cathy Amerault.
42 - Sue was born in 1942. Think "mischief when you feel fatigued
her mischievous spirit and enthusiasm will perk you up! She was an English teacher,
writer, and poet. Would say "Life does more than sorrows."
43 - To Diane Graham. She couldn't outrun Alzheimer's, but she'll watch Dan do it!
45 - Jo Langenfeld aka nana Jo. She is a sister, mother, grandmother, wife, and overall a bad ass woman fighting Alzheimer's. Her family would like her to be remembered as a caring, spunky individual that loves crocheting, camping, drinking tea, and being with her family.
47 - Donna Mullen born 4/4/47. She was diagnosed at 69 in 2017 with vascular dementia. She progressed rapidly and now no longer knows that she has a daughter. She loved camping, traveling and caring for children.
49 - Beth Sokol. Mother of 3 girls. Caregiver to all she meets.
50 -Gary Burke.
52 - Sylvia Gelineau. Diagnosed at 52. Amazing mom who fights every day to be
present for her two kids, loves the beach, FL football, & everything purple!
54 - Rene Wuillermin.
56 - Gloria has been punching dementia in the face since her diagnosis in 2012. A shy beauty when she was young, she fell a for gangly redhead and married the crap out of him for 56 years until he passed away. She is a beloved mother, grandmother, friend to many, ornery as all get out to all. On behalf of Gloria, we are privileged to have mile 56 of Dan's IRONMAN race dedicated to Gloria and honor the best years of her life married to that lanky, freckled faced farm boy. Gloria's dementia journey is chronicled by her eldest daughter at the blog Stumped Town Dementia.
57 - Sheri Mysliwiec - Sheri was diagnosed 3 years ago at age 57, she is the best wife, mom & dog mom. Her dogs are her world. She is truly the kindest, sweetest soul. She has taught us to stop and enjoy every flower we see.
59 - Anna Medley, always my "favorite mom" and the strongest woman I know!
60 - Viva McReynolds.
61 - Vyva Hendrix.
67 - Peggy Durnell.
68 - Madelyn is the bravest woman I've ever known. She battled breast cancer, along side my older brother who battled Hodgkins Disease. Sadly he lost his fight, and she lived her life full of purpose and love and strength while he couldn't. She was diagnosed with early onset at 62 years old. She's 69 now, and she's still defying all the odds living independently and hanging in there every day fighting. I am who I am because of her, and I am dedicating myself to end end this vicious disease.
69 - Nancy Wootten is 69 years young. She is spunky and has a great fighting spirit in her battles with dementia and cancer. She was told 4 years ago she had 3 years to live. She is my 1st Alz friend.
70 - Andrew L
73 - Margaret Farrell. She's 73. Known for kindness far and wide.
75 - For Lowell Klosky and Arlene Zatz loved and remembered by many.
76 - Joel Mitchell.
77 -Timothy Oshie.
78 - Debbie Sanders. Our everything and true Team Captain of Team Visor, Diagnosed at 60 and still fighting at 69. We love you, mom.
79 - Big Don Horton.
80 - taken
81 - Jerry Kline.
82 - Sylvia Amey.
83 - Diana Gilligan, 83 years old, survived a childhood of poverty, and was first in her family to attend college. She was married to my dad for 30 years and raised 4 children. Even though she suffers greatly from arthritis, she never complains.
86 - Ramona Orama. She was everyone's friend. And would help anyone in need.
89 - Katherine Schneider. Was 89 when she passed from ALZ. Lived through a lot and could never believe she lived so long. Survived a concentration camp in WWII with her two boys and moved to America without speaking any English. She made a great life for herself and our family starting from nothing at all. Definitely an inspiration!
92 - Shirley McGruer, aged 92, living with Alzheimer's in a nursing home in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Mom to 2 daughters, grandmother of 5, great grandmother of 2. She used to play piano and figure skate. Loves to sing, and is still really funny during her "good" days. Her motto: "You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps!"
93 - Ingrid Kretschmer. She's been on the journey for 13 years!
94 - Mildred Joyce Ramsay.
95 - Jan Conaty had Alzheimer's and passed away 7/23/18. She was a friendly, loving mom, wife, grandmother and friend. She loved to encourage others to reach their goals and was a woman of strong, strong faith and she loved Hawaii. I'll say a prayer to her to be with you along your journey.
96 - Paul Abell.
99 - Deery
100 - Joann Biernoff. She always gave 100% to every new challenge in life. A single
mum of 3 children. Who loved her career as a Nutritionist. Always helping others with
their health. Being diagnosed in her 60's, she's fought a courageous battle with this
disease. Now in the final stages.
101 - Clarence Wesley.
104- I dedicate this mile with love to my mother Norma Hernandez and thanks to Dan for taking you on this ride. In Mexico, you suffered the worst domestic violence from my father. In 1990, you took 3 children of ages 10, 9 and 1 and without speaking any English: you brought us to the US, a safe place to start a better life. Once here, you started working as a housekeeper in a hotel and you gave us the best life you could and always loving us and always worrying about us, still today your 3 children Claudia, Fabian and I are everything to you. I just want you to know that you are the bravest woman I know, you never complain about life or work, you are the best woman with a pure heart and you are the kindest with great faith in God and the virgin and you give your whole heart without expecting anything in return. Now this horrible disease has come into our lives and it hurts so much !Estare contingo siempre porque te amo demasido mamita linda no podria vivir sin ti.
107 - For our mother, Joung Ja Lee, because of her generous heart, desire to take care of everyone, and for her mean hula hooping skills!
108 - Rose Gray passed on July 9th at 93. She was diagnosed at 86. She was a fiercely independent woman who loved the outdoors and hiking. She realized her dream of trekking the Himalayas of Nepal in her late 50's. She was a mother to 3 girls and Nana to 4 grandkids.
111 - Bonnie Miller. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia at 89 and died at 92. She used to call herself a "tough old bird." And she was. She fought hard. Vascular dementia, unlike some other types of Alzheimer's, progresses much more rapidly. I"m happy she was home with us when she leveled up on Memorial Day this year.
112 - JD Fleming, Jr., who died July 2017 with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. He was, and remains, my hero. His birthday was January 12.
115 - Phyllis Ann Holvey.
116 - Ilene White.
117 - Martha Diaz. Caracas Venezuela.
118 - For my dad Wayne, who always paced himself and ALWAYS had fun!
120 - Nora.
121 - Linda LaTurner: she is BEST Mom and lover to all. She does everything with the biggest heart and all are lucky to know her!
123 - All daughters that are caregivers. I'm grateful to each who has come before me and has been willing to share how this disease has impacted their parent & their life. Their courage, vulnerability, humor, patience, and grief shows all the ways love shows up in our darkest moments and powers us forward. By mile 123, I hope that collective love powers you to the finish of this remarkable achievement. - Brooke Barrett.
124 - To my dad, Ken Barrett who loved to run and is in awe of what you are doing, invented "dad jokes",thinks that a bag of chocolate chip cookies is a single serving, loves his grandpups, makes up songs on a whim, and is most at peace digging in a flower bed.
125 - Robert A Neff. Jazz Man, engineer, CWO3 Army Vet, loving husband and amazing father who battled 7 years of vascular dementia with bravery.
130 - Marietta Tribble. She loved Diet Coke from McDonald's. I will start using Diet
Coke at the aid station at mile 130 for a caffeine jolt.
131 - Candido Barreiro
132 - Carlo Chianese
133 - Mary Corliss and the Bowe family.
134 - My husband Dallas.
135 - Please dedicate a mile for my Mother in Law - Frances Tally. She's been fighting this disease for so long. She could no longer care for herself at 68 and moved in with us. I have been caring for her since. She was a foster mom for many years. She loves children and family. She always is friendly and kind. She adopted 20 kids and helped many more. I am honored to be able to help her.
136 - My Mom, Gerene, was born in 1936. A loving wife and mother to 4 children. A geriatric nurse with the upmost dedication to her patients, who, ironically, most had Alzheimer's. Selfless, strongest, hardest working person I have ever known with a deep faith in God.
138 - Irma Hiltunen - Is a wonderful, adventurous mother of one daughter. She enjoyed being active her entire life until the cruelties of Dementia started stealing her skills at age 75. Keep going Dan, you,re getting close to the Finish Line! If you can do this Ironman, surely the researchers can find a cure or a way to slow Alzheimer,s so you can live with your wife and children and their eventual families. GO DAN!
139 - Rebecca "Beauty" Bearden. She is still with us and was diagnosed with Early Onset 7 years ago. Our family believes we can always find Beauty in the Brokenness- just have to choose your lens. We see Beauty in your mile 139- one of your most difficult miles, feeling broken and tired, but Dan, what you are doing is one of the most admirable things you can do. Take it home to mile 140 to meet your beautiful bride!
140.6 Julie Jaworski you are my everything. You are my last mile. Dan Jaworski
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