Last year in 2018 I attended the Phoenix Walk To End Alzheimer's event in Phoenix, AZ. I started volunteering with the Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter this year. The Alzheimer's Association is near and dear to my heart and I will tell you why.
My story starts with my grandmother Ruth.
This picture of my grandma and I was taken in the early 1980s. I believe the snowsuit is Rainbow Brite because I loved Rainbow Brite and the colors are correct. I would have been 2 or 3 at the time. I loved my grandma. She could do no wrong, the thought the world revolved around her and she would be there forever.
Of course, I saw her with the rose-colored glasses and adoration of a loving eldest of her alive grandchildren. That's another story.
She called me her "early bird" because we would visit and I would be up at dawn earlier than anyone except her. I used to love our mornings together. Just her and I sitting at either her kitchen nook table if we were at their house or if we were at their greenhouse we would be at the Air Stream table.
I can still see her sitting there...smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee.
Fast forward to I am 21 years old and getting married!
She was there. Well, her body was. But she wouldn't have known my name if you offered her a million dollars to tell you. Sometimes she called me my mother's name. Sometimes she called me her other daughter's name. But she didn't know me.
The frustrating thing was she could remember the guy's names. So she knew my husband's name even though she had only known him for 6 months. She could call him David, my dad Mike and my grandpa Bob.
But not me or my mom.
And most days she didn't know where she was or even when she was.
I remember one day she was sitting there watching tv and my husband and I were also there and she started screaming "you (horrible obscenities)better not touch me!" And she was wagging her finger but not looking at either of us!
I had never heard my grandmother say those words! I was in shock.
Also, this woman would not I repeat because this is important NOT touch eggs, not eat eggs, hated eggs!!! I never knew why. She wasn't allergic. She just wouldn't.
One day my dad made himself some scrambled eggs for breakfast. She asked him where her's were. Simple question but we were all like the cartoon mouth hitting the floor...you know what I mean.
So he made her some. Scrambled eggs. And she ate them.
This woman who wouldn't even touch eggs to put in stuff. Like meatloaf. She used a spoon so she didn't have to touch the eggs.
By the time all this happened, she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's for a few years. Now because of her age they would have diagnosed her with Early Onset Alzheimer's.
I was 21 and pregnant with her 1st great-grandchild when she passed away. She was 62 years old.
The age for diagnosing Alzheimer's is 65 or older. If you are younger then it's Early Onset.
There is no cure and currently very little treatment for Alzheimer's Disease. But so much research is being done. So much. But they need funding. So we are raising money! To donate click here.
A few years ago...I started having similar symptoms to what my grandmother had in her early 40's. Also my mom was having symptoms when she passed away 10 years ago. And I have had some of the same things happening the last few years that she had.
So I am raising money for a cure so I hopefully won't have to go through all of what they did. If the cure isn't found in my lifetime then for my child and her children because Alzheimer's can be genetic.
For more information about the Alzheimer's Association or to find the closest one to you click here.
They do so much good! Not only are they the primary funding source of research but they provide programs for people diagnosed and support for the families of those with all forms of dementia.
The Phoenix Walk To End Alzheimer's is in a few weeks and I will be posting pictures of us at the Walk. Use the #walktoendalz on social media and raise awareness and if you can please consider donating!! Even just $5! Here is my link again to donate.
We are donating 10% of all our profits on our Disabled Disney Gear at TeeSpring!
100% of the profits from this shirt go to the Alzheimer's Association via our Walk To End Alzheimer's link. So if you are going to do the Alzheimer's Walk or any reason at all you can buy one of these and Walk in honor of us! And all of our profits will go to my Walk link!