Jennifer Fowkes shares her story of why she is participating in The Longest Day.
Our team name “MusicisMagic”, has a very special meaning behind it. Music is considered magic in my family. A lot of memories have faded in my mothers mind, but hearing music ALWAYS brings her back to us. Dancing and singing is one of her favorite things to do! It brings her instant happiness, which is why my team name is #MusicisMagic!
First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to read this. As some of you know, this disease has been affecting my family for years and continues to do so today. For those of you who may not know, here’s my story…
Let me start off by introducing my wonderful mother. For those of you who know her or had the pleasure of knowing her years ago, would completely agree with me when I say, “Wow, what an amazing woman…even to this day.” She is the kind of person that makes your life better just by being apart of it. The type of person that brings instant happiness when she walks into the room. She loves her family unconditionally and is always putting the needs of others before her own. She truly is one of the most amazing women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Luckily, I’ve been blessed enough to have her as my mother and my best friend.
About eight years ago, my mother started showing early signs of memory loss and confusion, which eventually led into more serious symptoms. As the years went on, my father was determined to find out what was happening to the love of his life. After many doctor visits and traveling the country from hospital to hospital, he finally got the answer we had been looking for…Alzheimer’s.
My mother has a rare form of Dementia, called Early-onset Alzheimer’s. Of all the people who have Alzheimer’s disease, about 5% develop symptoms before the age of 65. My mother started developing symptoms in her mid 50’s…
I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Til death do us part,” right? Well, my father has showed the true meaning of this… To the man that has been impacted the most by this disease, I respect you more than you could ever imagine. We tend to underestimate the role of a caregiver. I can tell you first hand, it’s one of the most difficult and exhausting tasks I’ve encountered and witnessed. My father not only cares for himself, but he continues to love my mother unconditionally day after day. It comforts me knowing that my father continues to stand by her and love her just as much as he did 20 years ago.
This is why Alzheimer’s Association is so close to my heart. For those of you who are not familiar with this disease or Alzheimer’s in general, it’s a very slow process. It’s a process that takes years and memories away from family members and friends. I would have never imagined that this disease would consume someone so close to me, but it has. And now our lives have completely changed.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story! If you choose to donate to this cause, you will not only be helping my family but also millions of other people. If you want to join my team, please do so! I would LOVE to have people beside me to support this cause!
Today, over 35 million people across the world are living with Alzheimer’s, including more than 5 million Americans. In the United States alone, more than 15 million caregivers generously dedicate themselves to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. And these numbers will only continue to rise unless we take action.
Together, we can show those facing Alzheimer’s disease they are not alone. Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research and provide care and support to those facing the disease today.
To honor this event, I will be running 2 miles at First Landing State Park on June 20th, 2016 @ 6pm. If you are in the Virginia Beach area, I’d absolutely LOVE for you to join me on this run! If you are out of area or running is not your thing, any activity will suffice! Take a photo of you and/or others contributing to this day and tag our team name #MusicisMagic. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s photos! Let’s make this event HUGE, share my story or I encourage you to share yours! TOGETHER WE WILL END ALZHEIMERS!
About The Longest Day
The Longest Day® is a team event to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association®. Held annually around the date of the summer solstice, the duration of this sunrise-to-sunset event symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. Teams are encouraged to create their own experience as they fund raise and participate in an activity they love to honor someone facing the disease.