Sunday, September 19, 2010

Memory Walk

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading organization for supporting patients, families, friends, and other caregivers affected by dementia. Their primary focus IS Alzheimer's Disease, although they do help people affected by other dementias. Their mission is to accompany patients and their loved ones through the disease with education, care, resources, and support groups. They also are one of the leading organizations that fund Alzheimer's Disease research to try to find a cure for this thieving disease.

Every year, the Alzheimer's Assocation puts on a Memory Walk in communities across the country. The Memory Walk is much like the American Cancer Society's "Race for the Cure." Walkers register and seek to fundraise in various ways. Then, they go to a designated place on the day of the walk, experience a short program, and then walk along a particular path.

This year, I formed a team for the local Memory Walk in SeminaryCommunity. We sought donations and fundraised a decent chunk of money. I felt very passionately about participating to the fullest because of all that's happened with my family and me during Mom's illness. I walked for Mom. At one point during my seminary career, I went and talked to a lady at the local Alzheimer's Association chapter and she gave me a lot of information, books, an Alzheimer's Assocation bag, and a listening ear. It was invaluable. So, I wanted to help repay the favor.

I also wanted to raise money so that we can get closer to a cure. I've recently heard of some promsing research in Australia. I am incredibly hopeful that these scientists, doctors, and professionals are on the right track so that people will not have to fear the diagnosis of "Alzheimer's Disease" in the NEAR future. I walked for the Alzheimer's Association.

Honestly, I walked also for my family and for me though. My maternal grandmother had Alzheimer's Disease. My paternal grandmother had undifferentiated dementia, and Mom had Vascular Dementia. I do NOT want to follow suit. Also, my oldest brother is turning 50 this year, and I want a cure to be available when and if he is diagnosed. I want a cure for if and when my sisters and if and when I get diagnosed. Losing people slowly to such a disease as dementia is too terrible a thing. I can't imagine what it is like for patients when they still are aware of what is happening. I walked for patients, families, and caregivers all over the world. I walked for you.

So, I participated in the Memory Walk to support the Alzheimer's Association. I was the 5th ranked top fundraiser for this community, and that is something of which I am proud. I walked for many reasons. I hope to walk in the future. It is a tangible thing that I can do to help me continue to process through the grief that still very much affects me. It seems almost appropriate that the walk here was six months to the day of Mom's death. I hope that I can continue to be a voice for those who have had there voices robbed from them by dementia. I hope that I honor my mom's memory, and I hope that someday soon, we can live in the joy of a cure and a prevention of a disease that tries to steal who a person is.


Lindy said...

Good for you!

Jacki said...

So glad you had good weather for your walk. congrats on being #5 for donations!! *hugs*