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Why I Walk with Theresa Sawyer

3 Oct

Why I Walk with Theresa Sawyer, Team captain of Edward Jones-Forget- Me- Nots Virginia Beach

2018 Why I Walk - Theresa Sawyer

I’m leading the way to Alzheimer’s first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®. I witnessed the effects this disease had on my grandfather and all his family as he suffered from Alzheimer’s.  It is not an easy ordeal for anyone involved. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

I am so proud of my company, EDWARD JONES, in becoming the national sponsor for the Alzheimer’s Association.  I am honored to join my fellow associates and community members in these walks around our country.  I will be walking for my grandfather, Jimmy Owens, and all the others I know that have faced this disease.

I hope you will join us at alz.org/walk!

 

Why I Walk with Gino Colombara

19 Sep

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I am Gino Colombara and I have had the honor to be the Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter for the past 23 years. I walk each year for a very personal reason.

My journey with Alzheimer’s started over 30 years ago. It began with my father, John Colombara. While I was in the Navy stationed in Italy, he was living in Florida. I would call him every Sunday. One Sunday, he did not answer the phone. The same held true for Monday. I contacted the apartment manager to check on him. Apparently, neighbors saw my father leave with two suitcases in hand.

My father, who spent most of his adult life in New York, decided to head back home. He traveled by bus and train. He was missing for two months. I had a detective looking for him. This was the worst time of my life.

My father reached New York where he got mugged. He was brought to Bellevue Hospital without any identification. My father did not provide his real name and did not share that he had any family.

So how did I find him? He got on a pay phone in the hospital and called his bank in New York to get his pension check. I had contacted the bank earlier to request that if he should call to please contact the Red Cross.

At 2:00 one morning, military security officers came to my home in Italy and shared that my father was found. I immediately called him at the hospital. When I spoke with him, it was like nothing ever happened. By 8:00 that morning, I was on a flight to New York. And so began my Alzheimer’s journey in 1986. And so began my advocacy to make a difference.

Initially, my Alzheimer’s journey was extremely lonely. There was not much awareness of Alzheimer’s at that time. In fact, my father did not get a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s until 1989. My father passed away in 1993.

The tide has certainly changed since then. I feel proud to be part of that changing tide.

30 years ago…I could not imagine a day when everyone who needs care and support gets it as a result of our work…Today I can.

30 years ago…I could not imagine a day when research is funded at the proper level… Today I can.

30 years ago…I could not imagine a day when stigma would be eliminated… Today I can.

And 30 years ago, I could not imagine the day when everyone survives – the day our vision is realized. Today I can.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is one of the ways I pay tribute to my father. I hope you will join me at one of our walks. I look forward to seeing you!

Gino Colombara, Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Association – Southeastern Virginia Chapter

Join Gino at alz.org/walk!

Why I Walk with Mary Stemann

25 Jul

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Mary Stemann remembers when she knew something was different with her husband Robert…She started winning arguments! In time he got more and more confused.  They went to their family doctor and were told that nothing was wrong. This happened more than once. By the summer of 2015, he was having seizures and had become more and more withdrawn. A visit to a neurologist confirmed Alzheimer’s disease. Robert died in 2017, his last months spent in a memory care facility. In looking back, Mary wishes she and her husband had known about the Alzheimer’s Association and their services. She walks so those families and people with Alzheimer’s can realize that they are not alone and information and support are available. She walks in memory of her husband Robert and to raise awareness for these services and to find a cure.

Sign up today at alz.org/walk

Why I Walk with Mary Lou Jacinto

29 Nov

Carol Jacinto

My mom was first diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia in June 2012. At her last appointment about a month ago her diagnosis changed to stage 6 or moderately severe/mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Watching my mom fade away a little more each day is not only heartbreaking for me, it’s terrifying for her. What I want the most for her is that she enjoys her life and does the things that make her happy. Dancing is one of her favorite things. Her favorite dance the Wobble inspired my team’s name the Wobbling CAROLers. I want to do all I can to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s so that hopefully my own daughters aren’t one day sitting in the doctor’s office hearing the same news about me.

Mary Lou Jacinto
Team Captain of Wobbling CAROLers– Caregiver for her mother Carol
Coastal Virginia Walk

Southeastern Virginia Raffle Car Winner Announced!

21 Nov

Congratulations to Linda Fanning from Hampton on winning the 2016 Toyota Camry SE in our raffle drawing! Linda Fanning has walked with us since 2012. She is the team captain of the Cherished Memories Team at the Peninsula Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and is a Grand Champion fundraiser this year! ​​ The car was made possible thanks to Walk supporter Pearson Toyota in Newport News. Thank you to​​ Regional Walk sponsor, BayPort Credit Union and The Hampton Roads Show for helping us pick the winning ticket. ​

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Why I Walk with Ann Bolen

15 Nov

Why I Walk Wednesday- Ann bolen

I’m walking to help reclaim the future for millions. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support. Our family has been personally touched by “ALZ” and the year has been fraught with changes.  Roger, my husband of 34 years is fighting to maintain his independence and our life together. Our team, Peers and Partners-VB, is the monthly support group for Virginia Beach. Together we learn about “AL” and support each other. Our friends in this group have become our closest supporters- One can’t know the devastation of this disease until you walk in our shoes.

I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s.  For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide. Every little bit helps but your support means the world.  If you don’t wish to support, please let your elected officials know to wish them to support ALZ research.  THAT would mean a lot too.

Ann Bolen
Team Captain of Peers & Partners VB, a Top 10 Team for CoVA

 

 

Why I Walk with Tiffany Elston

11 Oct

Why I Walk Wednesday- Tiffany Elston

I walk in honor of my mom, who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s three years ago at the age of 49.

I walk in support of my dad and other caregivers out there that give so much of their time to care for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

I walk in memory of all those who have lost their battle with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, including my Grandma Tink.

And I walk to show our commitment to the cause and help in raising funds for the much-needed research, in hopes that one day there is a cure.

Alzheimer’s knows no bounds and everyone is at risk! The Walk helps you realize you are not alone and together we can make a difference.

Tiffany Elston
Team Captain, Dee Dee’s Angels
Peninsula Walk