Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Longest Day

My grandma was a high school English teacher and librarian with two masters degrees.  She was a crossword puzzle whiz, and literary enthusiast.  Her passion for words and her love of language is something that lived on through my dad, and now through me.

I was in middle school when she got Alzheimer's.  I can remember watching her sort silverware in our kitchen after a family dinner.  She would take a utensil out of the dishwasher basket, and sort of furrow her brow before putting it in the drawer.   I remember her looking around hesitantly before closing the drawer.  Puzzled, I  opened the drawer and saw all of the knives, forks, and spoons mixed together.  She had lost the ability to sort silverware.

She tried to hide the loss of her every day skills:  she still wore a watch, and when asked for the time, she'd say she didn't have her glasses to read it.  In reality, she didn't know what the numbers on the watch face meant. She couldn't use cash; she'd ask store clerks to take the right amount from her wallet.  

What stands out to me as the true horror of this disease is that she knew what was happening to her.  She knew she was losing her mind, and she was terrified.  

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's.  5.4 million Americans are living with this horrible disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

What can we do?

Please take a moment to watch this video.  You can even watch it with the sound off if you're at work being sneaky.  It's worth it.

Rachel and I have decided to join the fight against Alzheimer's.  We are participating in The Longest Day, a 16 hour event from sunup to sundown on June 20th.  We'll be running it as a relay on a local track.  We'll take turns:  she'll run for an hour, I'll run for an hour, all day long.  

And while we run, we'll be raising money, raising awareness, hoping that one day we'll live in a world without Alzheimer's.

In the next few days, we're going to be asking for donations.  We've got a ton of great prizes lined up, and we'll be setting up a raffle for all who are willing to donate.   If  you'd like to make a donation, please visit our personal fundraising page

One more thing:  if you've lost or are losing someone you love because of Alzheimer's, we'll run for them.  Specifically.  Let us know when you make your donation, and we'll dedicate a portion of our run to your loved one, by carrying their name with us on the track.

And if you'd like to do more than donate, please join us for the Run to Remember Virtual Race!!!

Please stay tuned for more details!


  1. You, my friend, are wonderful at helping us to open our eyes and see a greater perspective. What a worthy cause! What a good reason to share your talent. I'm so sorry about your Grandma. Mine suffered from dementia, which had it's similarities, but is not the same. It's so hard to watch someone you love go through such tough things.

  2. My great aunt got early onset Alzheimer's in her mid-40s. I was born after she was institutionalized. My great uncle kept her home and cared for her as long as he could, but she was dangerous at home and tended toward violent outbursts. He was still working, and they had young children. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. It steals who you are. This sounds like a great event, and I'll be donating!


Hearing from you makes me happy! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...