Why do I Walk to End Alzheimer’s? Good question.
I don’t do it for me.
I walk because I have a husband who has younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because my husband’s brother passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because their Mom passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease —and possibly their Grandmother and Uncle.
My husband is 51. His brother was 52.
I walk because I have two children, a 9-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter, that I love with all of my heart and soul. I would do anything to keep them from harm and to keep them healthy and happy. What I can’t do is save them from Alzheimer’s — and I can’t save their father from Alzheimer’s.
Here is what I can do: I can work hard now in the hopes and belief that a cure and a treatment will come. Right now, once you receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, there is no way to stop or slow its progression. There is no hope for surviving. But that could be different for our children.
When I Walk to End Alzheimer’s I am helping with research funding; I am helping with programs to assist others going through this horrific plight, and I am spreading the word and getting others involved.
Any other disease that has gotten huge media coverage (AIDS) or HUGE amounts of funding (CARDIOVASCULAR, POLIO) or affects people of all ages (CANCER), now has a treatment or a cure. When people come together and form an allegiance against something, change happens. So, I am asking everyone I know to join me in this fight.
When my children look back, I want them to know that I did everything in my power to release our family from this tragedy. I Walk to End Alzheimer’s because I am a fighter. I am someone that wants to make a difference.
This road, this life, this journey has already been one that I am not sure I can keep travelling. The frustrations, the loneliness, the financial woes, the loss of dreams, the pure exhaustion— sometimes, mentally and physically, it’s too much for this 43-year-old woman. But what keeps me moving forward and working hard to reach our end goal of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s is not only my own children and their children, but ALL of my friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow humans.
I know there are others that want to help. But they are tired, worn out and just can’t do it. I get it. I understand. When I Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I know there are many others walking with me in spirit. I walk for all of us.
I walk because I can.
I walk because it is the right thing to do.
I walk because I want to end Alzheimer’s.
About the blog author: Karen Garner is a mother of a 9-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. She works full time and is care partner for her husband, Jim, who is living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. She shares her journey through her blog, Missing Jim.
- Join a Walk to End Alzheimer’s
- Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
- Do a Little Big Thing to End Alzheimer’s