"Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see."
April 16, 2017
BENEFITING: Alzheimer's Association
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
“The journey is the reward”
I am passionate about raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, as I am running on behalf of my grandmother, Aba (short for Abuela, which means grandmother in Spanish) who is currently battling the disease. I am 26 years old and sadly my memories of my grandmother have been stripped from me as she began to show signs of the disease when I was 14.
I have seen first hand how this disease affects the families battling through it. My grandfather and grandmother have been together since they first met living in a small town outside of Havana, Cuba. They immigrated to the United States where they raised 4 kids, including my mother, and their lives represent the definition of the American dream.
My grandparents have been married for 55 years now and it pains me to see my grandmother being handcuffed by this disease. She now has two caretakers who watch her 24/7 and has to sleep in a separate bed with them, rather than with my grandfather. As a result, my grandparents are no longer able to experience the latter years of their lives together.
It has also impacted me personally. It’s sad to admit, but my memories of her have been overshadowed by this new norm. She rarely knows who I am when I visit, has trouble staying awake, and can’t talk or have a conversation with me. However, I do love looking through the hundreds of photo albums she had previously put together to see if anything will spark a memory.
Those that are lucky enough to know Aba for the person she truly is, not what this disease has made her, will agree with me in saying it's hard to not have a smile on your face when thinking about her. She is fun-spirited, loving, and strikingly beautiful - you could have mistaken her for a movie star based on the way she carried herself! With her beauty came a natural curiosity to see the world, travel, and share in those experiences with her family.
I was fortunate enough to see her adventurous side while having some of the most unbelievable memories from my early childhood like an African Safari (including a hot air balloon ride over the great migration) and swimming with penguins at the Galapagos Islands.
I wish I could add more to our experiences together as I approach new phases in my own life. I wish my younger cousins could know her the way my siblings and I do. I wish my grandfather could have his partner in crime by his side. The list is endless and there are too many family and friends affected to name here. There is one wish we all have in common: End Alzheimer's.
Running 26.2 miles, especially the Boston Marathon, will certainly be a challenge, both mentally and physically, however, nothing compared to the challenge Aba and my family (especially my grandfather) has and will continue to face.
This will be a journey; however, the reward will be well worth it. Please consider donating to support #RunForAba
The Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter is proud to announce that members of our "Run to End Alzheimer's - Boston 2017" team are running in the 121st Boston Marathon® on April 17, 2017. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events.
Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and affects millions of people daily. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. Currently, there is no cure. The first survivor of Alzheimer's is out there, but we won't get there without you.
In 2016 the RUN TRI RIDE to End Alzheimer's raised over $1.2 million to support programs and services for those impacted by the disease. The 2017 Boston Marathon team is determined to continue this tradition of success, as we celebrate our 16th year!