Why Not Walk For Alzheimer's Disease?
My 10-year-old neighbor, Ben, came over to visit Saturday afternoon. "Where have you been the past couple of days? Your dad said you were doing some kind of walk," he asked.
I told Ben that yes, I had taken part in a walk in the Houston area. That morning I had laced up my tennis shoes and, along with my good friend Mara (whose mother has dementia), strolled the 5K route that comprised the Alzheimer's Memory Walk in Sugar Land, Texas.
"So why did you do that?" Ben asked. I told him that by participating in this event, my co-walkers and I were bringing attention to this terrible disease. "And we also raised money to support research that can help stop Alzheimer's." Ben quickly replied, "How much did you raise?" I answered that thanks to the very generous support of family members, friends and professional colleagues, we managed to add $1,750 to the Alzheimer's Association's coffers. Furthermore, the participants in the Sugar Land walk raised over $59,000 in pledges for the cause.
Ben - always full of questions - asked, "Is that the disease that your mother died from?" I told him that Alzheimer's contributed to Mom's death, along with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Ben queried, "Is Alzheimer's disease what caused your mom to have memory loss?" I answered affirmatively, noting how Alzheimer's caused Mom not only to have difficulty recognizing family members at times, but also how it caused her brain to lose control of her muscle coordination on some simple actions, such as swallowing, that we take for granted.
After Ben went off to play football, I reflected on the day's walk. Participating in the Memory Walk seemed like a fitting way to commemorate Mom, especially since this event came exactly a month after Mom died. It allowed me to do something productive that made me to feel like I was making a difference in fighting this disease. And participating in this walk also gave many of my friends a way to either commemorate Mom's memory or show their support for me.
There are still some Alzheimer's Memory Walks scheduled for across the nation. And if the date for the Memory Walk in your area has already passed, be sure to make a note to yourself to watch out for the next round of walks next fall. By participating, you do good things for yourself (exercise), find a community of people who are being proactive in doing something about this terrible disease, and raise money for a very good cause. In my book, that's a very worthwhile way to spend a weekend
Click here to read Dorian's post titled Join Me in the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk
For more information on the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk: