November 11, 2017
BENEFITING: ALZHEIMERS DRUG DISCOVERY FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: ALZHEIMERS DRUG DISCOVERY FOUNDATION
The millions of others suffering from this despicable disease.
The NYC marathon is an experience of a lifetime. But, it's still a marathon and the largest in the world, at that. 26.2 grueling miles of never-ending bridges, fighting off muscle fatigue as well as the constant voices in your head telling you to just quit. It's not exactly "Sunday Funday." The only way I can run this incredibly challenging 26.2 miles of 5 bridges through 5 boroughs, is for a purpose that is much bigger than me. So, when I received the email inviting me to be a part of this team, I knew this was an opportunity that I needed to take. It means so much to me to be able to do this, I couldn't turn it away. Running this marathon is not about my aches, pains, or struggles. In fact, it's not about me at all. It's about these people whose suffering is unacceptable. I want to do something about it. I have to do something about it.
I despise Alzheimer's and Dementia......
Grandpa Dailey "Gramp" was a man of many trades. But his greatest and most successful role in life was being a family man. He was the most genuine person, with the biggest heart, who loved nothing more than spending time with his wife of 68 years, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Whether he knew you for 20 years or 20 minutes, you were considered part of his family and treated as such.
As the Patriarch of my mom's family, he taught us all many important life lessons: How to treat one another, how to value your family and cherish time together, the importance of our Irish heritage and passing that on to our kids, generation by generation. Our family is one, large, close knit group of people that extends far and wide. He may be gone, having left a huge void in our lives, but his legacy lives on.
Dementia slowly crept up on Gramp over several years. As a veteran Marine and survivor of open heart surgery, he was determined to not let his loss of memory get the best of him. As the dementia progressed and worsened, he became unable to care for himself and slowly unable to walk, eat, bathe or use the bathroom on his own. My Gram, mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and even family friends all stepped in to take over. They created schedules and cared for him around the clock, 7 days a week, for two years. For the one man who spent his life caring for everyone else, there was one option: to do the same for him. He was able to be comfortable in his own home until the end.
During those last moments, my family was all there, crowded around his bedside, talking to him and hugging one another. I know that he knew that they were all there. It was devastating but beautiful and so fitting to be together as a family with him in his last moments.
I, however, was not there as I still lived away then, and I will never forget the moment I received the call that he had passed. Seeing how strong my Gram was, and my mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings were In the days that followed made me realize how truly blessed I am with the family I have. The line of continuous people who came for hours and hours to pay their respect to him floored us, and truly spoke to the magnitude of the man that he was and the life that he lived. Saying my final goodbye was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It forever changed me.
This horrendous disease affects 5.4 million Americans each year and is the only 10 top causes of death that is currently not preventable, curable or even slowed. • ADDF is the only venture philanthropy charity solely dedicated to funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease • ADDF devotes 100% of every dollar raised to Alzheimer’s drug discovery research • To date, the ADDF has granted over $100 million to fund more than 500 programs in 18 countries • More than 20% of all treatments currently in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s have received support from the ADDR.
Because I have run marathons before, I know that conquering 26.2 miles is a huge accomplishment. It requires months of training, motivation and determination, physical and mental strength, and the support of family and friends to get to that finish line. But, to be able to run a marathon and hopefully advance research for a disease that hits home so closely and effects so many others , now that is the opportunity of a lifetime.
I'll be running this race for my Gramp. But also for my Gram, mom and dad, Aunts and Uncles, cousins and siblings. My whole entire family. To celebrate the life of Gramp, but also to celebrate the family he and Gram made for us all.
I will also be running for two other very special people close to our hearts: Amelia Vence, a wonderful woman from my husband's side of the family, who was so loved and celebrated by anyone who knew her. She suffered from the disease in later years, but was surrounded by and cared for by her devoted husband and family up until her final moments. Also Bill Ramer, a father of good friends of ours, who is currently suffering from this awful disease, and his family is surrounding him with love every single day to help ease his struggles. Thinking of their strength, and the strength of ALL of these families, is what will get me through training and 26.2 miles. This run is for them.
**Alzheimer's and Dementia will not win that day. **
Thank you in advance for giving any amount you can to help this amazing foundation continue to work so hard to research this disease. Without drug research, we cannot find a way to cure or prevent this disease and without money, we cannot research. Thank you so much. Slainte (cheers), Friends. ☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️
ALZHEIMER'S DRUG DISCOVERY FOUNDATION Founded in 1998 by co-chairmen Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the ADDF provides funding to leading scientists who are conducting the most promising, innovative Alzheimer’s drug research worldwide. The mission of the ADDF is to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease. To learn more about the ADDF, please visit our website.