Alzheimer’s was a part of my life even before I spoke my first word, took my first step or even opened my eyes for the first time. My grandmother developed early onset Alzheimer’s before I was born. When other little girls were being doted on by their grandmother, I was helping my mother to care for mine. She lived with this horrible disease for nineteen years and I watched a piece of her slip away day by day.
Later in life, this memory stealer attacked my beloved aunt and just a few years later, my Mama, and then much later two uncles. Watching all of them change from the loving kind people I had known into strangers was very painful.
Today, I am facing this stage again with my mother and father in law. It makes me sad seeing my husband endure the pain of seeing his always independent, smart and funny parents change each day.
I walk so hopefully, my children and their children do not have to endure the enormous strain it puts on seeing your loved one slip away little by little.
The stress of being a care giver also takes its toll on you and your loved ones. I walk so caregivers have a place to vent, to cry and a friendly shoulder to lean on. I walk to insure that there are funds to provide help and insight. When you reach a point when you need someone to lead you in the right direction, Alzheimer’s Association is there. I walk so they can continue to be.