Archive | August, 2017

Why I Walk with Marcie McMillin

30 Aug

 

Why I Walk Wednesday- Marcie McMillin

Marcie McMillin’s parents on their wedding day.

 

I’m walking to help reclaim the future for millions. By participating in the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, care, and support.

Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

I lost my Mom Betty Ruth Pickler to this disease in 2006 after 18 years of suffering. My dad is 95 years old and misses her every day.

I am raising money so that I am the last generation that will ever have to witness a loved one be taken one memory at a time.

Marcie McMillin
Board Emeritus and Team Captain of Betsy’s Boopers
Coastal Virginia Walk

Why I Walk with Lori Luckman

23 Aug

Why I Walk Wednesday- lORI lUCKMAN

I am a volunteer and this year’s Peninsula Walk to End Alzheimer’s co-chair. My mother-in-law, Fran was a woman who loved life. She swam 23 laps a day, bowled and played golf.  She loved watching football and basketball. She was a phenomenal cook and an avid reader.

Now, 4 years into this disease, Fran communicates using fragmented sentences interjected with the wrong words. She can no longer read, she doesn’t know what day it is and she sees and believes things that are not there.  I miss who she was and the close relationship that we had. Every day that I see her, my heart breaks and the mourning starts all over again.

Fran has Lewy Body Dementia.  Dr. Lewy identified proteins in people’s brains suffering from memory loss and confusion.  Hence, the name Lewy Body.  Like Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body is another form of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association works to help people with all types of dementia, not just Alzheimers.

Hopefully, one day there will be a way to detect early onset dementia.  Then, perhaps a treatment will be available.  And maybe one day, there will be a cure.  It’s too late for Fran, but not for the millions of people who will be diagnosed with some form of dementia in the years to come.  Don’t assume that this cannot happen to you. If you have a brain, you are at risk.

Please join at one of the walks and help us fight for an end to Alzheimer’s.

Lori Luckman
Peninsula Walk to End Alzheimer’s Co-Chair

Why I Walk with Julie Olson

16 Aug

 

Why I Walk Wednesday-  JULIE OLSON.jpg

Julie Olson’s Dad, Julius Daniel Benton, Jr.

 

I am proud to walk in support of the Alzheimer’s Association to honor my dad, Julius Daniel Benton, Jr.  My dad lost his fight with Frontal Lobar Degeneration (FTD) in 2008.  Although he didn’t have Alzheimer’s, his disease was just as devastating and the result was the same. He had no chance of survival because there is no cure.  We have also lost my Aunt Jack to Parkinson’s Dementia and my Aunt Ginny to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dementia is devastating – no matter what form it takes.

Dad was the best father a girl could ever ask for.  The love he had for his family was admirable as he always put us first.  He loved us with all his heart and was always quick to tell us he loved us, give hugs, or hold hands.  His love for music was evident his entire life as he played trumpet at school, church, and professionally.  He passed on that love for music to us and I cherish that.  Dementia robbed Dad of a lot of things – his ability to walk, talk, and do things that people take for granted every day.  I learned so much from Dad in the time I had with him, even in the face of adversity with dementia.  Dementia took him from us at the young age of 68.

I walk to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association for research to find a cure.  Through your donations, we can help make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia, their families, and folks who may suffer from dementia in the years to come.

Although Dad is no longer with us, I fight to find a cure so that no one else will have to endure what Dad did.  I hope there will be a cure so no one else has to lose their loved ones to this horrible disease.  My husband and children never got to meet Dad but his legacy will live on through me and others who are inspired by his life and fight with dementia.  We can make a difference and there will be a cure!

Julie Olson
The Benton Bunch, Team Captain
Coastal Virginia Walk

Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Frances

8 Aug

VolunteerSpotlight - Mary Frances

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Mary Frances is a long time volunteer and advocate at the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She started with the chapter back in 1997, after her mother, Frances Wade Newsome, passed away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Before her mother died, Mary Frances had promised her mother she would help other people with dementia. Mary Frances connected with the chapter and started a support group at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Franklin, VA. Mary Frances and The Rev. David Johnson, from Sedley Baptist Church, were trained by Chapter staff to each be a facilitator of a support group, for their area. Together they helped many families and caregivers find the support they needed. In 1998, she was appointed to our chapter’s Board of Directors. Then, in 1999, she became employed as the chapter’s full-time Educational Outreach Coordinator, working out of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Sadly, in December of 2000, Mary Frances was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.  As a result, she had to step down from her full-time position in 2001. The diagnosis further fueled her passion to make a difference as a dedicated volunteer and advocate.  Mary Frances and her supportive husband, Jimmy, secured a building for the chapter in 2005.  She and Jimmy enlisted the help of community volunteers to clean up and rebuild the vacant structure to fit the needs of the Association.  Due to damage from severe flooding, the office was closed in 2010.  

Mary Frances continues to be an extremely committed volunteer. In fact, she and Jimmy have been publicly recognized by the chapter as Outstanding Volunteers. Currently, she co-facilitates a support group in Franklin which meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month, as well as assists with managing support group facilitators in the area. She and Jimmy are still good friends with Executive Director of the SEVA Chapter, Gino Colombara and his wife Grace.

When Mary Frances is not volunteering with the chapter, she and Jimmy also volunteer at the Episcopal Church in Franklin where they assist at the camp grounds over the summer and manage activities at the church. Mary Frances is also a self-proclaimed animal fanatic and cherishes her beloved dog Candy Campbell, a Dachshund-Pug mix.

We are so thankful to have Mary Frances as both a dedicated volunteer and advocate! If you are interested in volunteering with our chapter, you can learn more information on our website at http://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

Why I Walk with Janet Eubank

2 Aug

Why I Walk Wednesday- Janet Eubank

We are walking in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to honor my mother, Jean Emmel who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 10 years. She always had a smile on her face even when she wasn’t sure just who I was or thought my children, who have grandchildren of their own, were still young at home. Mother passed away in 2015.

This is our team’s second year participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and we are so happy to join the other walkers and teams.  Alzheimer’s not only affects the life of the person with the disease, but also the lives of the family and friends who love them. Any donation is greatly appreciated and every dollar raised makes a difference.  God bless you all.

Janet Eubank
Co-Captain, Jean’s Winners
Coastal Virginia Walk