Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Walk to End Alzheimer's 20 SEP 2014 #alzorg
Our walk to end Alzheimer's was held on 20 Sept this year at Bridgeport Park in Santa Clarita, CA. The sky was sunny and the temperature perfect – not too cool or hot. As team captain of the Forget Me Nots, I arrived early, check in, pitched up a pop-up, set up a table, brought folding chairs and a cooler full of water.
The great thing about the event was seeing so many people come out and support the cause. My husband and 12-year-old son also raised funds. We were a "friends and family" team and collected over $4,000.00 for the event making us the #1 fundraising friends & family team.
I wanted to walk because my husband's grandmother, who has always been kind to me, began forgetting things. The most jarring incident for me was when she attended my son's birthday party and had to ask his name. Just recently I learned my own grandmother has dementia. I remember her as such a lively woman, vigorous, full of adventure, smart, and very warm. She had a (still has) a beautiful smile. Granny taught me my prayers, the state capitals, and nurtured my curiosity.
At the promise garden, they were giving out different colors for support. We chose yellow because we were supporting those we knew who had Alzheimer's and their caregivers. A purple flower meant you knew someone who passed from Alzheimer's and an orange flower represented your support for the cause.
The walk was approximately 2.5 miles and the team showed up in full force. We got our tshirts, drank coffee, grabbed our water, and were off. The website said there were over 350 walkers, but it sure seemed like a lot more showed up!
What I liked about the walk was there was no pressure to rush to finish it. Everyone was glad to be there and support. I was the team captain. Recruiting the team from my co-workers was easy. In fact, my co-workers made it easy to fundraise. 911 dispatchers are a very generous, kind, and caring people. We started early, last March, fundraising. We sold coffee, had a bake sale, and had a raffle. We made our goal back in June Everyone who signed up on the team had Alzheimer's touch their family in one way or another.
Just a couple of facts:
Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's.
1 in 3 people over 85 has Alzheimer's.
Age is a risk factor in developing dementia.
Dementia is the loss cognitive functioning which include memory, language, visual perception,, and the ability to solve problems.
A great book that will help you understand what caregivers go through was written by Suzette Brown, called "Alzheimer's Through My Mother's Eyes." If anyone would like to share their story or recommend a book or a movie, please do so. You just might inspire someone to seek the help and support they need.