For many, Alzheimer’s is known as a disease that comes with many shocking statistics. It’s the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. It’s is diagnosed every 66 seconds. It affects more than 5 million Americans. But for me, Alzheimer’s is much more than facts and figures—it’s a disease that has changed the person I love most in this world, my mother.
Lucille Barisonek has always had a strong spirit. She raised five children; she worked as a nurse, a magazine editor, and trained to become a pilot. Even as she aged, she didn’t really see the need to slow down. She went on to get her diving certificate and — even in her late seventies –took up kayaking.
But my mother, who lived her life as an unstoppable force, has been no match against Alzheimer’s Disease.
I wish I could say that this chapter in my mother’s life was different, or that she was beating the odds and winning the fight. Instead, I’ve watched her decline over the years. I’ve watched my father care for his wife of sixty years while searching for a treatment or remedy that could slow the progression of this terrible degenerative disease. I’ve watched my mother go from a woman who would try anything, to someone who couldn’t remember where she was going or why.
Today my mother requires around-the-clock care. The only thing Alzheimer’s hasn’t taken away from her is her wide, beaming smile.
Which is why I’m walking to end Alzheimer’s.
On Saturday, October 1, 2016, I’ll join my team, Senior Care of Sacramento, in a walk to raise money that will support the Alzheimer’s Association and their goal to end Alzheimer’s. Held in more than 600 communities across the country, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the largest event for raising awareness and funds towards Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Every dollar counts in the fight against Alzheimer’s. I hope you can join me in supporting the fight. Please visit my donations page for more information.