We went to my grandmother’s assisted living home yesterday for a post-funeral reception. We had last been there near Christmas for a party honoring both of my grandparents, and there were great pictures of them giving presents to their great-grandchildren.
As my grandparents age, it’s hard to see them and/or their siblings begin to lose touch with reality. I was pondering this as I saw the sign on the door about participating in or sponsoring someone in the Altzheimer’s Memory Walk.
The Alzheimer’s Memory Walk is a large, nation-wide effort to raise money for Alzheimer’s Disease and to raise awareness as well. The website is beautifully designed – it’s incredibly easy to search for a local walk. There were 3 walks close to my area, and it’s easy to sign up to participate online. If you have a physical limitation that prevents you from walking (lets say, oh, Chronic Lyme disease, Arthritis, or Fibromyalgia), clicking on the local walk will bring you to their main page, and you can easily sponsor a local walker. I’m planning to sponsor a local walker affiliated with my grandmother’s assisted living home.
It always feels good to support a worthwhile charity. I wish I was physically able to participate in the walk, but since I can’t, I will donate. The Memory Walk will bring more attention and money for research to a disease that takes far too many loved ones from their family. I’m so incredibly grateful for all of my grandparents, with whom I always had a wonderful relationship, and felt so horrible when one of my grandfathers didn’t recognize me. My great-uncle is now having problems with Alzheimer’s, and now he doesn’t recognize his sister, son, or grandchildren. I hope that research can help more and more children keep that cherished relationship with grandparents and great-grandparents, rather than having a disease rob their memory.
If there isn’t a walk near you, it’s also easy to become a Team Captain and start your own local team of walkers. There’s a pdf guide for setting up your team, and there’s an added bonus of a prize being offered to anyone who raises more than $500! Each Memory Walk participant needs to raise at least $200, which seems like a reasonable goal (some other walks require $2,000!). Team captains need to have at least 9 people on their team, and then they can create their fundraising website linked from the Memory Walk homepage, plus have t-shirts, banners, and other motivators to make sure that everyone stays excited and has fun!
Add together a great fundraiser, a great way to raise awareness, a website that is easy to navigate, and a worthwhile cause, and the Altzheimer’s Memory Walk is something that touches your heart, then makes it easy for you to do something.
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