87 Pounds Lighter and Walking to End Alzheimer’s

September 20, 2014

Today I walked to end Alzheimer’s. I walked for my Grandmother or Mammaw as I called her. Her name was Beatrice Dudley, such a beautiful name to me. She had been battling Alzheimer’s for over 10 years. Mammaw lost her battle with Alzheimer’s on October 25, 2014. Alzheimer’s is the most painful and heartbreaking illness I have ever seen. And it is by no means quick. I walked today to remember and honor my grandmother. This was my first End Alz walk and it was considered a 5K which is 3 miles. This would have been much harder for me 87lbs ago. In fact, I’m sure that’s why I never participated in the past. I was too heavy and too out of shape.

Having bariatric surgery has allowed me to begin to take back control of my life one pound and one day at a time. I’m developing a confidence that I never had before. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and realizing that I’m capable of more than I have been giving myself credit for. I look forward to discovering even more about myself as the days continue.

I’m so grateful to my family. During some of the hardest times we have seen, we all pulled together to help take care of Mammaw. Although it was extremely difficult for all of us, it doesn’t hold a candle to how excruciating it was for my grandpa. To see the love of his life deteriorate. Because of our large family and the ones that gave up so much to be her main caregivers we never had to put my grandmother in a nursing home. She was able to stay at home for the remainder of her days.

Not only did I walk today to honor my grandmother, I also walked to help raise awareness for this disease. I raised $125 to go towards the research of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. It’s not much but every little bit counts. I want to thank the ones that donated from the bottom of my heart. The Alzheimer gene runs deep in my family(on my mothers side). We have seen all too many of our extended family suffer. Although we don’t know if any of us will end up with Alzheimer’s, the fear is real. I fear for my mother. I don’t let it consume me, but I did do something about it. I walked. So I guess you could say today was for both my grandmother and my mother. Who’s knows…it could have been for myself even. No cure was found in time to save my grandmother, but I pray if that day ever comes, a cure will have been found in time for my mother or even me.

Me before the walk started. I was pumped and ready to go.
Me before the walk started. I was pumped and ready to go.
The memory flower we were given to remember our loved ones. Purple represented that we had lost someone to Alzheimer's.
The memory flower we were given to remember our loved ones. Purple represented that we had lost someone to Alzheimer’s.
Every one holding up their flowers in a promise to help end Alzheimer's. Yellow represents that you are a caregiver, purple you have lost someone to the disease, orange that you are advocate and blue that you, yourself have dementia or Alzheimer's.
Every one holding up their flowers in a promise to help end Alzheimer’s. Yellow represents that you are a caregiver, purple you have lost someone to the disease, orange that you are advocate and blue that you, yourself have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
I took my memory flower to my grandfather. In memory of his wife and my grandmother. He had my Aunt put it in a good spot for him. I loved the look on his face when I gave it to him. He even blew on it to make it spin. I love him so much and I miss my Mammaw dearly.
I took my memory flower to my grandfather. In memory of his wife and my grandmother. He had my Aunt put it in a good spot for him. I loved the look on his face when I gave it to him. He even blew on it to make it spin. I love him so much and I miss my Mammaw dearly.
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