Today, I am taking a stand against Alzheimer’s by participating in Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™. My name is Trevor Barroer. I’m 18 years old, and I’m the founder and team captain of The Memory Musicians. I established the team in loving memory of my grandma, Claudette Maddox, who passed away on April 15 of this year.
Growing up, my grandmother acted as my third parent. She was an absolutely beautiful individual, inside and out, with a great sense of humor. For the last several years, I watched as the grandma I knew and loved was slowly consumed by Alzheimer’s.
So why are we performing music? Isn’t walking 16 miles hard enough? I believe that our hour-long improvised drum circles provide the perfect outlet for conveying complex, wordless emotions. The music also brings me back to the day my grandma passed away…
On April 15, 2012, nearly eight hours after receiving news of my grandma’s death, I had to perform a feature solo with the Tucson Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in front of a large audience. Rather than pushing all the emotions aside, I accepted my grandma’s death and dedicated each and every note to her. My grandma was never able to see me perform once her Alzheimer’s took over yet, that night, I have no doubt that her spirit was in the audience, listening to me perform.
Today, while my team struggles under the blazing sun, we will be thinking about how this experience is ONLY ONE DAY. Those affected by Alzheimer’s disease — people with the disease, families and caregivers — face a similarly taxing battle EACH and EVERY day.
So as I continue to push my own physical and mental capabilities, my heart goes out to all those currently fighting this awful epidemic. If you are reading this now, all I ask is that you show your support for the cause. I believe now is the time to show those facing Alzheimer’s disease that they are not alone. Offer some words of encouragement. Donate a few dollars if you can. Every little bit helps.
Trevor Barroer is an 18-year-old percussionist from Tucson, Arizona. Today, he is participating in Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™, a sunrise-to-sunset relay event to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Alzheimer’s. As team caption of The Memory Musicians, he is dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s through the unifying power of music. Click here to follow Trevor and the Memory Musicians during this 16-hour event.