Last night we had the Kick-off party for the Walk to End Alzheimer's here in Charlotte. It was a great opportunity for Team Captains to come meet and chat with people in the industry and learn about good fundraising tips as well as see where we are as a city in terms of fundraising. I also love the people that work for the Alzheimer's Association. They, along with several members of the Industry, (My ladies at the Ivy and Regency) have become close companions as we navigate this disease with my Mother. I just met the new CEO last night and she is GREAT. I could spend hours with her talking about ideas about getting people in my generation involved. You see, I am not the majority. People still have the stigma that this is an old person's disease so while many friends are experiencing this with grandparents, not many are experiencing this with parents.
That being said I have been contacted by at least five people in the past few weeks that are seeing the symptoms in their parents and are coming to me for advice. I'm not sure how to describe how I feel when I get one of these emails. I am brokenhearted for anyone that is getting ready to experience or already experiencing Alzheimer's with their parents. But I also feel empowered. This little blog is mostly silly and my journal since I don't think my husband listens to 79% of what I blab on about. If my stories are helping anyone, and in return, sending them to me for advice; I feel like I need to do more. There is almost a period of time, maybe called the gray area, where you know something is wrong but don't know what to do about it. My father and I sat in that gray period for almost two years. There has to be an easier way for caregivers to move from this phase to a diagnosis of some sorts with the least amount of embarrassment to the patient as possible. Because that was what held us back. How do you tell someone that they are having memory issues?
The new Alzheimer's facts and figures data this year primarily focuses on women. Almost two thirds of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer's are WOMEN. Women are also the typically caregivers. Do you see the issue here?
At last night's kick off. Also happened to be my halfway through pregnancy mark. Thought it would be fun to also note what I was up to at that moment.
While this is nothing to smile about I love thinking of ways for us to spread the word about the disease. I would love to get a shot of my Mom and I behind this poster at the walk. Maybe a photobooth of some sorts.
Have you seen Seth Rogen's wife, Laura Miller's, campaign in magazines?
What if we could all make a page like that for ourselves with a simple upload? Laura is an inspiration in her battle against Alzheimer's in the name of her mother and if you want to follow a pioneer in fundraising you should follow her and Seth's Hilarity for Charity group.
I would also love to sit down with Lauren and pick her brain. We both use humor to help us through this disease and I think we (after a few bottles of wine) would be BFF's.
It has been three years since my Mom was diagnosed. And while the disease continues to progress I feel that through the Alzheimer's Association, Memory Care, Support Groups, and Seniors Helping Seniors we have been tossed a few life rafts of sorts. I will do a full post on what we have changed and how we are helping mom soon for my group of friends that need that advice.
Whew. Sorry for the long post! I know you get requests for fundraising all the time so I will try to only send out my bulk emails twice as I begin my Walk to End ALZ donation begging.
Let's END ALZ!!! Go KREWE BB!
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