I’m walking for my mother, Martha Carter, and for the millions of others who do not deserve to live with and die from this horrible disease. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, care, and support.
My mother lived with Alzheimer’s for 7 years before it killed her in August of 2011 at 90 years of age. She was a strong, healthy woman who devoted her life unselfishly to her husband and 5 children and 10 grandchildren. She was so proud of the closeness in her family, of every accomplishment, of every picture and every family gathering. She did everything right – there was always a crossword puzzle book on the table by her chair, she went to the library, she bought books, she’d read a book a day and remember all of them, she loved playing gin rummy, she was an avid Jeopardy fan, and when Trivial Pursuit came out she’d find someone to play every day and she’d win every time! She had a thirst for knowledge – she wanted to do your homework! She sewed, crocheted, did crafts. And then, ever so slowly, Alzheimer’s took it all away.
I think what I most want people to understand is that Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease – it kills you. I’ve met so many people – untouched by this cruel disease – who think that it makes you forget who people are and do strange things, which it does but all of that is really the least of it. We need them to realize that after Alzheimer’s has destroyed your mind, your ability to do anything you enjoy, and your memories of everything and everyone you loved, it attacks your body and physically destroys you just as slowly and cruelly as it did mentally.