10 Ways To Love Your Brain
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 have to say this has been one of the hardest stories I have ever had to write but its the easiest decision at least for me. My grandmother has always been the foundation of our family and it was hard for me to watch all of her memories slowly slip away.
I walk for my mother, Astrid (“Ozzie”) who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. I walk with my father, Rick, my sister, Lisa, and my wife, Melissa, who have all accepted their caregiver role and fulfilled its tasks very diligently.
For years, I’ve been watching Alzheimer’s take away someone very special to me. Grandma O’Neil is the women who taught me how to sass like no other and to dance like no one is watching. A hard-working woman who did everything she could to support her family, she is the reason I am volunteering and walking to end this terrible disease.
My dad exemplified loving kindness and generosity. His love for our mom and four children taught us to value life by treating others with respect and dignity.
I walk for my father, Birch and for my sons, Forest and Randolph.
As 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.
For me, 2016 marks ten years of volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association and specifically, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I have witnessed lots of changes in those ten years. When I first volunteered as a team captain, my grandmother had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for close to ten years. I got involved with the Walk as a way to fight the disease that was stealing my beloved grandmother. Alzheimer’s ultimately took my grandmother from us completely and sadly, two more family members have also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
MONDAY Wow – am I learning a lot! Depending on your role in the Association, you may already know these things. But I am finding out not just about AAIC specifically, but about our wonderful organization. For example, did you know: that we have a Conference Services department (small but mighty) that plans and managesContinue reading “Purple Passion Report #2 from AAIC”