Why I Walk with Sheila Mayes

12 Sep

Why I Walk

2018 Why I Walk - Sheila Mayes.png

I have been a nurse since 1991. Many of those years as a nurse have been spent working with people who have dementia. It is both challenging and rewarding. I love it! Those people are part of the reason why I walk.

However, the biggest reason is that my paternal grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease before she died. We were fortunate that because she had two wonderful children, my father, and my aunt, along with my stepmother and some hired help, she was able to stay at home for the entire duration of the disease.

My grandmother was pleasantly confused. She loved to joke and laugh. Even on her “bad” days, she made light of it with a joke.

I remember my grandmother as a pure “joy” to be around. Growing up, that’s exactly what we called her. Joy. Her name was Josephine and most people called her “Jo”, but to her grandchildren, she was simply Joy.

Near the end, she could not remember my name. She called my daughter “that girl” when asking about her. Her memories slowly faded and she became more and more confused before she died. I felt as if I had been robbed of my grandmother long before she passed away.

Alzheimer’s is a horrific disease and I love walking to raise money for the cause, hoping that someday we will find a prevention or a cure and be able to provide education so that loved ones will be prepared to cope with the challenges they will face.

Alzheimer’s disease is growing in numbers because people are living longer and their bodies are healthier. It will affect all of us in some way at some time. Please join me in walking to End Alzheimer’s.

Sheila Mayes

Join Sheila at alz.org/walk

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