Why I Walk Wednesday with Jennie Thomas

30 Sep

JennieThomas_Why I Walk Wed-01-01

I walk in remembrance of Patricia Scott, or to whom I called “Nanny”. For as long as I can remember who was a funny, cheerful, a gardening loving grandmother, who loved to spoil her grandchildren. When I was in elementary school my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which took all of those qualities away from her. Slowly she lost her memory, then her balance and then later she could no longer walk, she lost everything that she was. At this point we had to put her in a nursing home. My mother and I took care of her for seven years, every day. My Nanny slowly began to get worse and worse and that’s when we started to go to the Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Charlottesville, we wanted to make a difference. We went to every Walk that the University of Virginia put on each year and still continue to do so. I can always remember walking down the downtown mall thinking that one day I would love to put on a Walk in remembrance of my Nanny. Now, today I am the Vice President of Philanthropic Service for Sigma Kappa Sorority, doing just that.

There are some memories that I have of her that I can remember clear as day and will always cherish. When she began to lose her memory and her ability to talk it was difficult to understand what she would be saying or doing. However, on October 23rd, my mom’s birthday, she sang “Happy Birthday” to my mom and began clapping, just like she would if she had not had Alzheimer’s. Everyone cried and laughed and this continues to be one of the favorite memories of my Nanny’s time in the nursing home. As time went on she got worse and it became more difficult for my family. Seeing as most days were just like the rest. She would eat, sleep and stare at the television screen, not knowing what was going on.

After seven long years of battling Alzheimer’s disease she passed away. After participating in the Walk To End Alzheimer’s over ten times, hours of planning, emailing, fundraising and tears later, this one is for her.

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