Alzheimer’s sucks! There is really no other way to say it. Well, I could easily say it a different way by adding a lot of graphic, inappropriate expletives. However, I won’t. I will just say that it sucks. It is a disease that affects millions of people. Actually, there are more than 5 million people in our country living with this terrible disease today. It is now the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause that currently cannot be slowed. Need I say more? Alzheimer’s disease sucks!
For the second year, we participated in the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Last year, we walked with a large group of family members in Anderson. This year, we walked with a group from Home Nursing Services that treated us like family. HNS is a healthcare company that provides clients with a safe, cost-effective alternative to institutional care. They work with all families as they would members of their own family…striving for a complete and fulfilling lifestyle. They are dedicated to advancing research to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, and provide programs to improve the lives of those affected by the disease. It is a disease that they see up close and personal day after day as many of their clients live with it.
Upon arrival, we were instantly welcomed into the group. We were given purple “Champion at Work” t-shirts, wristbands, and purple donuts. It is wonderful to see so many people, young and old, come together to speak out and raise funds for this great cause. The Walk To End Alzheimer’s is actually the largest fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, the organization with the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. It is the largest funder of research and the leading organization in care and support. We walked the one-mile course with hundreds/thousands of others. Each team wore special team colors and carried signs and flowers in honor of those who have lost the battle with Alzheimer’s and those who battle today. Block by block we marched through downtown. Passers-by honked and waved to show their support. We completed the course in an hour, said our goodbyes to our “new family”, and went on about our day.
As we drove away from Headwater’s Park that morning, I could not help but think about my family. In last year’s post I shared how Alzheimer’s has affected my family. I believe I called it a pain in the ass. I would use those exact words again. Our family, both sides, has been negatively impacted by this disease. It has taken our loved ones from us before they have died. It has caused stress, anguish, and heartache. But you know what, it will not win. We will continue to fight. We will continue to honor the lives of those lost. We will care for and love those who struggle today. We will speak out. We will stand on the highest mountain and shout so that all can hear. Say it with me, “ALZHEIMER’S SUCKS!”