BENEFITING: ALZHEIMERS ASSOCIATION
ORGANIZER: ALZHEIMERS ASSOCIATION
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
Dear friends and family:
I am humbled, blessed, and tears-welling-up excited to be running the 2015 Boston Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease in honor of my grandfather who passed away in 2008..
My grandfather's Alzheimer's had a major impact on my life. In 2004, my dad's dad, Benjamin Raviv (we called him Saba, which is "grandfather" in Hebrew) became suspiciously forgetful, and soon thereafter was diagnosed with the disease. As a 15-year-old, I didn’t quite get it ("But he's pretty much the same!"), but that's the cruelty of this beast: the impact of the disease so slowly becomes more apparent.
At his 80th birthday in December 2004, Saba mistakenly introduced me as his niece, and, not 12 months later, he was not speaking at all. During the earlier years of his silence, we comforted ourselves with our certainty that he enjoyed our company. Riding home to Washington from Great Neck in twin silence, I remember sitting, glassy-eyed, in the back seat; with every passing visit, my dad would ask me, my mom, and my brother, "Do you think he knew we were there?" Ultimately, as the years passed, we did not really know if he realized who was dressing, washing, feeding, and loving him. After a long struggle and multiple experimental trials, he lost his battle and passed away on December 25, 2008 -- the date of his birthday in the Jewish calendar.
Saba taught me important lessons about dedication and putting intelligence to good use, just by example. He was a loyal member of the Palmach (the elite fighting force of the Jewish community in soon-to-be Israel), and, later in the US, a civil engineer who worked to build, among other projects, the Throgs Neck Bridge connecting the Bronx to Queens. Saba was smart, quick, dignified. His slip into silence pained all of us beyond measure.
Not only am I grateful to be running to honor Saba; so, too, am I humbled by the incredible opportunity to participate in the Boston Marathon. As many of you know, I'm an extremely emotional runner: last year, on the Sunday before Marathon Monday, I "accidentally" ran 10 miles, to the Marathon finish line on Boylston Street where so much havoc had been wreaked one year before. That day, I crossed the finish line backwards, and prayed that, 366 days from then, I would cross it the right way, after 26.2. This is the best race in the world; its storied course and infamous hills weave through my former home. And this will be my first marathon, a challenge I never thought I could face.
My ask of you is simple: Please donate as generously as you can to support the Alzheimer's Association in memory of my Saba, and help me reach my goal of $10,000. I cannot think of an organization more deserving, nor of someone whose legacy I would be more grateful to honor, as I embark on what is sure to be one the biggest challenges of my life.
I could do none of this without all of your support; this journey is but another rising example of my community making me better, stronger, faster, braver; and inspiring me to dream bigger.
Thanks for helping me make this one come true.
The Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter is proud to announce that members of our "Run to End Alzheimer's - Boston 2015" team are running in the 119th Boston Marathon® on April 20, 2015. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events. The Boston Marathon has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions and longevity.
In 2014 the RUN TRI RIDE to End Alzheimer's raised over $1 million to support programs and services for those impacted with the disease. The Boston 2015 team is determined to continue this tradition of success, as we celebrate our 14th year!