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Why I Walk with Stephen Opitz

20 Sep


Why I Walk Wednesday_StephenOpitz

Pictured above is Stephen Opitz’s Grandfather, Robert Painter.


I’m walking in honor and memory of my grandfather to help reclaim the future for millions. My grandfather was a brilliant man who unfortunately lost his battle with Alzheimer’s four years ago this July. 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 so we can find a cure and stop losing so many amazing people to this terrible disease.

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 need your support to do my part! Please join me and other Princess Anne High School students, families, and friends and walk in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on the Va Beach Boardwalk on Saturday, September 23, 2017. If you are able, 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.

Stephen Opitz
Team Captain, PAHS Brain Trust
Coastal Virginia Walk

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


Why I Walk with Jacqueline Ferguson

26 Jul

Why I Walk Wednesday WITH Jacqueline Ferguson

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s back in 2010 and I cared for him until he passed at home in 2014.  I miss my husband of almost 60 years of marriage, my partner in life. Well, to honor him and his love of travel. My children decided to take our journey on the road to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and to find a cure. This year we are walking to find a cure in Virginia Beach and I want you to join us. I’m leading the way to Alzheimer’s first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®.

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

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Jacqueline Ferguson
Member of Roosevelt’s Roadies Walk Team
Coastal Virginia Walk

Why I Walk Wednesday with Jason Herring

2 Nov


My first experience with Alzheimer’s (although I didn’t know what it was) was when I was around 10 years old. I remember going to the hospital to visit my grandpa who’d been recovering from open heart surgery. When I walked through the door I said “Hey, grandpa,” to which he responded, “Who are you?” I remember being really upset because my grandpa was a hero to me, but I didn’t realize until his funeral a few months later that the reason he couldn’t remember me was because he had Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s became a bigger part of my life when I started working at Atlantic Shores. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some awesome residents and, unfortunately. I’ve seen some of them suffer the effects of Alzheimer’s. It’s hard to watch someone you care for, go from lively and active to a more monitored and structured lifestyle.

Why do I walk for Alzheimer’s? I walk because a lot of the people affected by Alzheimer’s are military and they fought for my freedom. I walk because a lot of the people affected were teachers and nurses that helped teach and care for people. I walk because a lot of the people affected were laborers who worked hard their whole life to build this country to what it is today and provided for their families. And lastly, I walk for the families of the people affected by Alzheimer’s because I don’t want anyone to have the same feeling I did as a kid when my grandpa asked, “Who are you?”

Jason Herring 
Aquatics and Fitness Coordinator
Atlantic Shores, the Neighborhood for 55 and Better in Virginia Beach

Why I Walk Wednesday with Judy Prado

21 Sep

why-i-walk-wednesday_withjudypradoI’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 Alzheimers 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.

Join me and Walk to End Alzheimer’s!  Join us this Saturday at the Coastal Virginia Walk To End Alzheimer’s.

Why I Walk Wednesday with Carla E. Morin-Diehl

3 Aug

Why I Walk Wednesday_WITH CARLA MORIN-DIEHLAs I write this at 2:00 am I am overwhelmed with emotion. We have spent the entire day at doctor’s offices and a trip to the hospital because my father crushed his finger this morning in the car door when we got to daycare. So anxious to get in to see his new friends, he didn’t pay attention to what he was doing. He crushed the tip of his finger, lost his fingernail and had a dozen or so stitches. Bandaged up we left the doctor’s office to have him pull the bandage off in less than 10 minutes. Back for another bandage that didn’t even last an hour. So to the emergency room we went because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Thankfully they put his finger in a splint so that he can’t remove the bandage.

Why am I writing this? Imagine a man that was the first to graduate from college in his family. Imagine a man that retired at 58 as a vice president of a major corporation. Imagine a man that was one of the smartest men you have ever met. There was nothing that he couldn’t do.

In August of 2008, my Daddy and I went to a Red Sox game in Baltimore, something we did for many years. We always stayed in the same hotel, ate at the same places, this trip wasn’t any different. But my Daddy was. He was confused, a bit disoriented, not knowing exactly where he was. I thought he must just be a bit tired. We enjoyed the game and came home the next day. I told my Mom about how he was and she wasn’t concerned, agreed with me that he must have just been tired.

In January of 2013, our worst nightmare came true. My Daddy was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s disease. When seen by the neurologist and tested, he didn’t pass a test. He was losing his ability to understand even the simplest things. My family was devastated.

2 years ago, I signed up for the Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s and raised enough money to become a Grand Champion. The morning of the Walk I didn’t have any idea what to expect and honestly I was overcome with emotion. My team was small and together we raise over $3000.00. It was so moving and emotional to see for the first time that we were not alone. That there are so many families that are affected by this disease; I knew I had to do this again.

Last year, I walked in the Peninsula Walk to End Alzheimer’s and once again became a Grand Champion. Our team grew to over 20 people and we raised over $6000.00.

This year I was humbled to accept the Chair position for the Peninsula Walk, raising money for ALZ has become my passion. My Daddy fortunately still knows his family, is still very social, but he has lost all comprehension. He is delusional; he doesn’t remember what happened 2 minutes before. His brain has been robbed by this insidious disease, a disease that is the number 6 killer each year.

You never understand the magnitude of this disease until you are faced with it head on. The disease of abandonment, where people that you thought were your friends, slowly stop calling and eventually go away. The disease of the long goodbye, in essence you lose your loved one twice. My Daddy has been gone now for many years. This man looks and sounds like my Daddy, but my Daddy is gone. In his place is a man that is like a little boy, no filter and carefree.

I look forward to a world free from Alzheimer’s disease.

Thanks for reading,
Carla E. Morin-Diehl

Please join me and register for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

Why I Walk Wednesday with Tiffany Elston

20 Jul

Why I Walk Wednesday_Elston

We walk in honor of my mom (Nana) who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s three years ago at the age of 49. 

We walk in support of my dad (Papa) and other caregivers out there that give so much of their time to care for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

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

And we 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.

Please join with me and register for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!