Choose something you love — or honor a caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s, or someone you’ve lost by selecting his or her favorite hobby. From swimming to scrapbooking, you’re limited only by your imagination.
I am writing this on behalf of my brother Revell Milliner. He was often too shy to use his voice. He cannot speak today because a dementia-like illness took his life in 2007.
My husband Tom was a manager of Reynolds Metal in Phoenix Arizona. He had an easy nature, loved to play golf and after he retired would often play 18 holes in the morning and then again in the afternoon.
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.
The reason why I walk can all be summed up in this one picture. My father started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s right before my 18th birthday in January 2008 at the age of 59.
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.