Tag Archives: Why I Walk Wednesday

Why I Walk Wednesday with Janet Eubank

30 Nov


We are walking in the Walk 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 and thought my children who have grandchildren of their own were still young at home. Mother passed away in 2015. We don’t want anyone else to forget who they are or who we are, so join us in our fight against Alzheimers.

Janet Eubank, team captain of Jean’s Winners
Coastal Virginia Walk


Why I Walk Wednesday with Stephen Opitz

23 Nov


I’m walking in honor and memory of my grandfather, Robert  Painter, to help reclaim the future for millions. My grandfather was a brilliant man who unfortunately lost his battle with Alzheimer’s three years ago. 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.

Please join me and other Princess Anne High School students, families, and friends and walk in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and 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.

Coastal VA Walk
Stephen Opitz, team captain
PAHS Brain Trust

Why I Walk Wednesday with Brookdale Virginia Beach

16 Nov

Why I Walk Wednesday_BrookdaleVB.jpg

At Brookdale Virginia Beach we all have different reasons why we support ALZ:

“I support the end to ALZ because it’s such a debilitating disease.  Supporting our residents with ALZ is very rewarding.” – Rebecca Foster, Business Office Coordinator

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that affects not only the residents but the entire family.  I support ALZ to provide happiness to the residents affected and watch them smile when speaking of their memories.” – Missy Marshall, Health & Wellness Director

“I support the end to ALZ hoping to eliminate the fear and pain caused by the disease to those afflicted and their loved ones.” – Felicia Packer, Sales & Marketing Manager

“I support ALZ because it is not just a resident disease but a community disease.  The more we educate ourselves on the signs and steps of ALZ the more we will be prepared to face this disease head on and not from the shadows.” – Perry LaCore, Resident Care Coordinator

“I support the end to ALZ for a better outcome for everyone’s future.  Finding a cure would benefit those who are lost, confused, hurt, and/or angry throughout this process.  Finding a cure will give everyone involved a sense of hope and clearly understanding what is going on around them.  Finding a cure can continue to fulfill the lives we truly enjoy by doing things we never imagine doing.” – Lanice Baker, Clare Bridge Program Coordinator

Brookdale Virginia Beach – Clarebridge Forget Me Nots
Diamond National Team
Le’Anne Bailey Hayes, team captain

Why I Walk Wednesday Kristen Simonette Messmore

9 Nov


I’m walking in honor of my dad who had Alzheimer’s for 8-10 years.  He passed away just 2 days shy of his 74th birthday.  He was looking forward to creating some incredible memories in his retirement.  Because of this terrible disease, he lost the ability to do most of the things he loved to travel, drive, or visit the Elks.

I’m so sad that my dad didn’t have the opportunity to be the grandpa he wanted to be and that my kids won’t remember what he was like when he was well.  I miss being able to talk with him like we used to about cars, life, & travel.  This disease has robbed us all of so much.

I walk in hopes that no one else will have to suffer through this disease, so that others will have the retirement they had hoped for, been the grandpa they had wanted to be, and continue to have conversations with their kids about travel, life, and cars, so that no one else will be robbed like we were.

I walk so that we can raise the funds needed to put an end to Alzheimer’s so no one else will have to experience the grief that we have.

Coastal VA Walk
Simi’s Buds Team
Kristen Simonette Messmore, team captain

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 JoAnne Coniglio

26 Oct


His Voice

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. His disease lasted about seven years. When we were children our parents often sent both
of us to the little country store down the street from our house to pick up necessary items like Maxwell House coffee. They knew he was too shy to ask for items by name, and they knew that his little sister was not too shy to say anything. They could count on him to patiently control his rambunctious little sister if she would just be his voice.

He was not always comfortable speaking but he could speak to nature with love and compassion like no one I have ever known. He frequently brought home injured animals that he found on the farm or in the woods. He was hunting and fishing at a young age. What I remember most about what he brought home from those hunting trips were injured animals . One was a fox that had been caught in a trap. He kept it in a cage in the back yard until its leg was healed enough to let it go back to the wild. I also remember the crow with the injured wing, that he nursed back to health. I’m sure that the same crow returned to our house often over the years.

As and adult he worked many long hours, but he was always happiest when he was out in nature. He spent many hours in his 3-acre garden raising the most delicious strawberries and Hayman potatoes. He even had a fox that would show up most nights to eat yogurt with strawberries that my brother would feed her from a spoon. Some of his favorite hobbies were to duck hunt, fish and clam in Metompkin Bay. He could talk for hours with his friends and family. One gift he gave our children was the gift of imagination. Fairies, Santa and any magical creature became alive in his vivid tales of their adventures. About mid-way through his illness we tried to take him out in his boat on Metompkin Bay, it was devastating to watch the fear in his eyes because he was so afraid of the trip. I held his hand and tried to help him remember the past.

We watched him lose the ability to work, to garden, to hunt, to fish and to key-hole clams like no other. We watched him lose the ability to speak even to his family and nature. We watched him lose the ability to take care of himself. I held his hand all day the day he died and told him it was all okay and that he would again be able to walk in nature again and breath in the salt air.

Just the other night I dreamed that my brother was still alive and getting healthier because there was a new drug that had been developed that could gradually reverse the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. I woke up with such excitement!!!

Two years ago, our daughter had a son and named him Revell. My hope and prayer is that through the work and support of the Alzheimer’s Association a drug will be developed in this young Revell’s lifetime.

I hope Revell’s voice speaks to us all to encourage us to support the Alzheimer’s Association and its work!

You can support the Alzheimer’s Association by donating to a Walk team or an individual walker by going to alz.org/walk 

Get more stories like these and up to date information on Alzheimer’s disease in your inbox by subscribing to the Alzheimer’s Association weekly E-News.

Why I Walk Wednesday with Becky Watson

19 Oct


I’m very proud to walk in RHYTHM with my purple DRUMs during numerous Alzheimer’s Association  Southeastern Virginia Chapter Walks. These beautiful, light and inviting drums create JOY and SMILES with just a gentle tap of the finger or hands … anyone can play a drum!

Music – specifically rhythm – helps people with dementia reconnect in the present moment or environment. With our group music therapy programs for people living with dementia, rhythm is a primary intervention used to engage, energize, and empower.

I love walking and drumming during Alzheimer’s Association Walks because the cadence and rhythm invites others to join me, marching in step to the same beat, synchronicity and entertainment. Drumming also fosters a sense of playfulness or release of anger and tension. It can also help in decreasing social isolation and the building of positive relationships and connections.

It is always a pleasure and honor to find my own rhythm and serve older adults with dementia with energizing music therapy programs. Even though their brains are declining in cognitive functioning, they can still tap to a beat, dance, move and sing with such rhythms, zestenjoyment and laughter!

Join Becky Watson this weekend at the Williamsburg Walk register now.