This year, it's personal...
While many of you know that I've been a "recreational marathoner" for the better part of the last 12 years, running the 2019 Boston Marathon for Team End ALZ, will be another "first" for me, and it's deeply personal.
I am running in support of my mother, who was recently diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease. I will also run in honor, and memory of, several relatives and loved ones of my family and friends - Peter (Lena's grandfather), Fran (cousin), and another cousin's (Ed O's) dad... to name a few.
When we recently heard my mother's diagnosis first hand, my mind and heart started racing - what can I do for HER? What can I do for my father? How can my family create an all-important network of loving support?
But another critical question kept surfacing for me - how can life continue to "stay normal" despite this diagnosis and its inevitable effects?
There is nothing enjoyable about confronting this diagnosis; and, I am grateful to my mother for allowing me this opportunity to share her story, which, is the story of almost 6 million Americans today.
Since her diagnosis, my mom continues to focus on activities that will not only supprt her brain health, including piano lessons, Tai Chi, volunteering and traveling, but things that help her continue to benefit from "the secret of life" -- she and I danced to a song by that name at my wedding..."the secret to life is ENJOYING the passage of time."
I can't adequately express how my mother's nurturing spirit, deep love and caring for our family and her friends continues to feed and inspire me.
She has been there, literally, on the sidelines, watching me run the Boston Marathon 11 times over the past 13 years while supporting various community causes - some of which she personally became involved with - and she will be there when I run my 12th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019...FOR her.
I hope to use this year's effort (after a LONG hiatus from regularly running!) to raise funds and awareness that might truly make an immediate difference for my mother and our family - research is progressing and new treatment options for Alzheimer's are coming quickly.
In December 2018, I turn 50 and my mother will turn 79 the very next day. I have decided to set a stretch fundraising goal this year - $100 per year of life my mother and I have enjoyed so far.
I respectfully ask that each of you consider a donation in honor of my mother, in honor and/or memory of someone you know who is/was affected by Alzheimer's, and in support of the research, treatments, information, and resources that gives us hope of finding a cure in our lifetime.
PLEASE also consider donating and applying for any corporate matching grants from your employer.
You can donate here, securly online, or feel free to mail a donation (check payable to "Alzheimer's Association") to my (new!) home address at: 10 Carlson Circle, Natick, MA 01760.
THANK YOU. This year will be a tougher 26.2 for me, to say the least, and I am grateful for your continuing support.
Learn more about Alzheimer's disease here.
From ALZHEIMERS ASSOCIATION:
The Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter is a proud Partner of the John Hancock Non-Profit Program and we are thrilled to announce that Team End ALZ will run the 123rd Boston Marathon® on April 15, 2019. 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 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, including 154,000 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Currently, there is no cure. The first survivor of Alzheimer's is out there, but we won't get there without you!
In 2018, Team End ALZ raised over $1.2 million from the marathon, run, triathlon and cycling events, all to support programs and services for those impacted with the disease and advancing research for a cure. The 2019 Boston Marathon team is determined to continue this tradition of success as we celebrate another year of running! No stopping until there is a cure! #endALZ