Oh Say Can You Sing to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado is proud to announce Oh Say Can You Sing to End Alzheimer’s, a talent search for a volunteer vocalist to sing the National Anthem at the 2015 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s. More than 10,000 Coloradans are expected to walk the morning of September 19 at Denver City Park to raise awareness and funds to end Alzheimer’s.

Oh Say Can You Sing to End Alzheimer’s, a talent search for a volunteer vocalist to sing the National Anthem at the 2015 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Oh Say Can You Sing to End Alzheimer’s, a talent search for a volunteer vocalist to sing the National Anthem at the 2015 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The 2014 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s was the fourth largest in the United States and raised more than one million dollars to advance research and provide support to the more than 65,000 Coloradans living with the Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

To audition for this high profile performance opportunity, please submit a YouTube video of you singing the national anthem a cappella to Jordan Ambron, jambron@alz.org, by Noon MTN on August 26, 2015.


The winner must be available to arrive at Denver City Park no later than 8:00 am the morning of Saturday, September 19 to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The winner will be announced on September 8, 2015.

Win A Pair of Broncos Suite Tickets

BroncosPreSeasonSuiteTickets.jpg

The Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, a proud Denver Broncos Community Partner, will give away 10 pairs of tickets to the Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers preseason game on August 29, 2015. The seats are located in Suite 418 and include complimentary food and non alcoholic beverage. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages all Coloradans to register for one of the twelve statewide Walk to End Alzheimer’s events. To be eligible, one must:

Ten lucky people will be randomly selected on August 19, 2015 to receive two tickets to the Broncos vs 49ers preseason game. To be eligible you must raise a minimum of $500 as an individual Walk to End Alzheimer’s participant before 11:59 pm on August 18, 2015, and enter your information through this website.

*The $500 must be posted to your online participant page by 11:59 pm on August 18, 2015. Please note that cash and checks received by the Alzheimer’s Association may take up to seven days to post to your online account after being received at our Denver office. All registrations will automatically subscribe to the complimentary email newsletter of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado.

Getting Sweaty for Rick and Betty

I am very happy to share my Walk to End Alzheimer’s story, it is actually one that was well talked about 6 years ago. My husband and I got married the day before the WALK in 2009. We had our entire wedding party get up early the day after and walk with us in honor of my father-in-law and in memory of my grandmother.

 Walk to End Alzheimer's Team

Our 2009 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team.

I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s in 2006, she was residing in Oklahoma at the time of her death. It was extremely hard for all of us to watch what she went through the last couple years of her life. Just a month before her death, I met my husband! Even though we had only been seeing each other for a month, he drove out to Iowa with me for the funeral. I knew then he was a keeper!! :)

In 2007 my father-in-law was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, he was only 53 at the time. I have never seen anyone effected as fast as he was. We didn’t get to see him often as he lived in Northern California, but when we did it was so hard for my husband to see how much his father had changed.

In 2009, my husband and I were getting preparations ready for our wedding. We had our date set, September 18th, a Friday. People wondered why we didn’t choose the Saturday, well, that’s because of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. We wanted to make sure we participated. My father-in-law was not going to make it out for the wedding, his doctor’s did not think that the trip would be good for him. It was very hard to deal with that all the way up to the wedding, my husband kept wishing that his dad could be there.

Rick and my husband.

Rick and my husband a few days before our wedding.

It’s now the Wednesday before our wedding, a car pulls up to our driveway. My husband notices that there’s too many people in the car. He opens the front door and out of the car comes his dad! You could probably imagine my husband’s shock and surprise! His aunt was able to get him out to Denver for our wedding!! It truly was a blessing, we were able to get great pictures of the entire family, my husband got to share that day with his dad. Then, his dad walked with us at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s the next day. We couldn’t have asked for anything more!

 

Fast forward to Summer of 2010. We’re pregnant!! I’m due on December 7th, we don’t know what we’re having. We get a call from California. My husband’s dad is not doing well at all. He’s in the hospital and they don’t know how long he has. We didn’t hesitate, we got off work that day, jumped in the car and drove straight for 18 hours to California. Which, as you can imagine, being 5 months pregnant was not much fun to do. His dad ended up making it through several days, nothing was changing in his condition though. I had to get back to Denver as did my husband, we were due to find out the sex of our baby in three days.

Before we left California, knowing that his dad only had days left, we told the family that if we are having a boy, we want to name him after my father-in-law. Everyone was touched at our gesture. Two days later, my husband is driving back to Denver from California, and gets the call that his dad died. The next day, we find out that we are having a baby boy! We now have a very rambunctious 4-year-old, Richard Edward Holbrook II (Ricky), named after his Grandpa Rick.

As if this story isn’t long enough. In 2012 I gave birth to a lovely baby girl. We named her Elizabeth, after her Great Grandma Betty (originally Elizabeth). Now in 2015, we want to bring back our original Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, Getting Sweaty for Rick and Betty, and walk with my two kids who are our living memorials to those that we lost to Alzheimer’s.

Ricky and Elizabeth

Our kids, Ricky and Elizabeth, named for their grandparents.

Our Alzheimer’s story  has definitely been one with great highs and great lows. Due to our experiences, my husband, who went to school to be a golf course manager, working in private country clubs for 5 years, changed his career. He now works for Brookdale Senior Living in Arvada, he’s the Executive Director. He looked long and hard at his life while his dad was suffering from Alzheimer’s and he said to himself, what am I doing? He felt that his hands were tied since he wasn’t able to take care of him out in California. So he did the next best thing. He started a career where he could help those here in Denver living with the disease. To this day he doesn’t regret that decision. He loves his job, and his residents love him!

– Jessica Holbrook, Team Captain of Getting Sweaty for Rick and Betty

Helping To Change Lives One Step At A Time

Jack Fussell running

Jack Fussell running the Boulder Flatirons

Jack Fussell’s Facebook page says he is “just a regular guy trying to help, like I promised I would.”

But Fussell is anything but regular. The 64 year old Navy veteran is walking and running more than 3500 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, all to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Fussell started his incredible cross-country journey on November 4, 2014 from Tybee Island in his home state of Georgia, and he will be finishing the trek in Monterey, California. Currently, Fussell is racing across Colorado. This ‘regular guy’ covers an impressive 20-25 miles each day, inspiring and educating those he meets along the way, and changing the lives of people affected by the disease one step at a time.

Jack Fussell running through Colorado

Jack Fussell running through the Colorado mountains

But his journey isn’t just about completing the physical challenge. Talking to as many people as possible about the disease is one of his most important goals. “Every 67 seconds, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is made,” he said. “This disease is devastating…and not just for the people living with the disease, also for their caregivers.”
In 2000, Fussell lost his father to Alzheimer’s disease. His father came from a family of 12 siblings, seven of whom died of the disease. Faced with the loss of his father and a personal health scare, Fussell was inspired to reevaluate his life. He lost 100 pounds and made it his new mission to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease by trekking across the country.

 

His campaign, “Across the Land, raising awareness one step at a time” has been featured in hundreds of media outlets across the country and has enabled him to meet four governors as well as countless people affected by the disease. “I’ve spent about 55 nights in Alzheimer’s units talking to patients and caregivers. These special experiences are life changing and remind me that I need to keep going forward with our mission.”
Although his journey is physically and emotionally draining, Fussell is constantly inspired by the many brave people he meets that are either affected by the disease or working towards finding a cure. “I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do this.” But he stresses that so much work needs to be done in terms of legislation and funding. “It is shocking how little funding is provided for this disease – people can help by talking to their lawmakers and demanding change.”

Fussell said his trek doesn’t exactly have a set-in-stone plan. He usually just travels wherever there is an Alzheimer’s Association chapter. Fussell also wants to raise awareness of the network that is available to inform and support anyone touched by Alzheimer’s. “People can call 800-272-3900 to reach a 24-hour-a-day help line that has counselors for caregivers or anyone concerned about the illness,” he said.

Jack Fussell visits the Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter

Jack Fussell visits the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association or to follow Fussell’s journey, visit facebook.com/acrosstheland2015.

Leslie Mitchell

 

-by Leslie Mitchell, Alzheimer’s Association Volunteer.

Memories Supporting Memories

My Grandma, Charlotte Barrett, passed away in 2007 after nearly 13 years of living with Alzheimer’s disease. I remember the day when I saw my dad, Miles Barrett, after he had just heard the news about his mother. At the time, I was just a young teenager and didn’t know anything about the disease or what my Grandma’s future held. What I do remember is that I had never in my life seen my Dad so devastated and I feared for what I was about to learn.

My grandma

“my memories with her are distinctly filled with fun and laughter”

Looking back, I don’t remember much about my Grandma before she began living with Alzheimer’s. However, my memories with her are all distinctly filled with fun and laughter. Dancing around to the player piano at their house in Littleton – Laughing at my new favorite movie “Dumb & Dumber” – Skiing the slopes of Breckenridge. She was the type of person who always wore a smile and was loved by everyone who knew her. During her later years, I particularly remember how greatly music would lift her spirits. When she heard a song that triggered her memory, she would light up and sometimes even laugh; much like how I now feel when I hear songs that take me back to the days of dancing around their player piano. The gift of memory is truly something special.

Larry and his Grandmother at the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s (then the Memory Walk) in 2006 with my Grandpa and our friends.

I couldn’t write this without talking about how strong and supportive our family was throughout these years; in particular, about my Grandpa (whom I was named after). Grandpa took care of Grandma as long as he could before getting professional help. Even then, Grandpa visited Grandma for years on a daily basis. Taking her on walks, to the movies or just listening to some of their favorite tunes. His love and support never grew thin. Grandpa partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association for support and was heavily involved with them through the years.

One thing my Grandpa taught me was the importance of giving back. Every year, I make it a priority to start a team and participate in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. It’s a fun way to raise money for the association, and is turning into a tradition of mine. I’ve also helped provide the large banners and signs for the Association’s events through my previous large-format printing job. However, I wanted to do more. I wanted to make a bigger impact and raise more awareness. Finally, the perfect opportunity arose with my new start-up company, JustSayCheese.com.

Our Banners at the 2011 Walk to End Alzheimer's

Our Banners at the 2011 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

We started Just Say Cheese based on the simple fact that we all have way too many photos on our phones and never do anything with them. Thousands of memories each year get loaded onto hard drives and rarely visited again. The marketplace didn’t offer an affordable way to showcase your photos and celebrate your memories with others. Through our unique, patent-pending process, we’ve developed a type of canvas print that is a fraction of the cost of any other photo-to-canvas company and can easily be ordered through our website. Our prints make for beautiful wall art, personalized gifts and can even be used as a type of reminiscence therapy for those suffering with Alzheimer’s, all at a price point that wasn’t previously available. Our team is dedicated to working hard for the success of JustSayCheese.com as well as our efforts to become a large supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Just Say Cheese  Canvas Print

A Just Say Cheese Print Ready To Hang.

For every canvas print sold, JustSayCheese.com will donate $1 to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Just Say Cheese Alzheimers Association SupporterI will continue to walk each year for my Dad – for my Grandma – for my Grandpa – and for the millions of other people impacted by the disease. Thank you for your support of our efforts and I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 19th!

-By Larry Barrett

How To Choose The Right Care Community For A Person With Dementia

Amy MillerAmy Miller, LCSW, is the Director of Family Services at the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter, where she meets with families and helps develop a plan of care to address short-term needs and long-term goals. Her background in working with older adults includes managing a Memory Care Unit at a Skilled Nursing Facility, as well as working with care managers & health clinics to provide information and support to older adults and their families.

 

One of the most common topics in family care consultations is how to go about choosing the right care community for a person with dementia. The process can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but having the right information will save families unnecessary time and disappointment. Here are the five steps for selecting the right care community:

Step 1: Determine what the person’s level of need is. Assisted Livings offer a lower level of supervision and medical attention than Skilled Nursing Facilities. The person might need Memory Care if they frequently try to leave and are at risk of wandering. Click here to learn more.

Step 2: Determine how you will be paying for care. Assisted Livings average about $3500 a month, but costs can increase quickly if you need to add on personalized services. Skilled nursing averages $7700 a month. Generally, a person can pay out of pocket, with a long-term care insurance policy, with VA benefits, or through Long-term Care Medicaid. Keep in mind not every community accepts Medicaid. If you need assistance determining how you will pay, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a free Legal and Financial Planning class.

Step 3: Call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline (800.272.3900) to get a list of care communities in your area. Find the communities that work based on level of care, payer source accepted, and location. Call to see if there is a waitlist, and if you are paying with Medicaid check if the community requires you to pay out of pocket for a period of time first before you can use your Medicaid benefits.

Step 4: Tour three to five places. Use the following checklists from the ombudsman’s office when touring to get a feel for the community:

Once you have visited a few places, call the Area Agency on Aging and speak to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to see if there have been frequent complaints or serious issues on their Health Department surveys.

Step 5: Tour the places that have passed your screening again. At least once arrive without an appointment, ideally during the evening or weekends when most of the management team isn’t there. Visit during a mealtime, and observe how staff are able to manage during their busiest time of day. See if there are visiting family members that you can talk to about their experience.

Trusting a care community to care for your loved one is difficult. It can be confusing to know where to start, but the Alzheimer’s Association is here to help. If you’d like more information on choosing a care community, you can contact the Helpline 24/7 at 800.272.3900 and speak to a counselor over the phone or set up an in-office Care Consultation to create a step-by-step action plan specific to your family’s situation.

How to choose the right care community for a person with dementia

Quick Guide To Helping Families Select A Care Community:

  • Determine the level of need (ALF, Memory Care, Skilled) and how you will be paying (LTC insurance, VA benefits, private pay, Medicaid).
  • Go through our list, finding places that will work in terms of location, payer source, and level of need.
  • Call and ask about any waitlists.
  • Tour 3-5 places once. Get a feeling for the community using our checklists of things to look for.
  • Any contenders that are still in the running after the first visit: call the long-term care ombudsman to see if they have any frequent complaints from residents or families or serious deficiencies from the Health Department.
  • Tour again, this time unannounced. Go during the evening or weekend, when most managers have gone home. If possible, go during meal time to see the staff when the demand on their time is highest, and see if they are still able to interact and take the time with residents that is needed.

#StillMe

StillMe-Sandra

Following the release of Still Alice, a movie staring Julianne Moore as a Columbia linguistics professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, several courageous members of our Early Stage Group got together to kick off a new social media campaign, ‪#‎StillMe‬. The campaign aims to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease by putting a face on a disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.

StillMe-Wayne

 

 

Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s, a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over time. In its early stages, memory loss is mild. In the late-stages of Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. The #StillMe project aims to emphasize the individuals behind a disease that slowly robs them of themselves.

 

It is the slow and sorrowful progression of Alzheimer’s disease in a loved one that inspired Brad Torchia, a Denver based professional photographer, to get involved with the project:

A few years ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  My family lives across the country from me, and on my trips home every six months I would notice her decline, as well as the devastating effect it was having on everyone around her.  I started photographing her as a way to make sense of the situation, and slow the process in my mind.  Over time, this has turned into a larger scale portrait project that I have been working on in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado. I provide portraits of those living with the disease to their families at no cost, and simultaneously create a personal body of work. With this series, my goal is to convey the personality, and subtle, but noticeable effects that begin to take shape within the first stages of diagnosis, as well as contribute to the growing conversation around this disease.

StillMe-Rick

 

Barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease, by 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple to as many as 16 million. Despite this trajectory, Alzheimer’s remains the most expensive condition in the United States, and one of the most underfunded disease. Hopefully, the #StillMe campaign can shed a light on the individuals behind these statistics, because where there is humanity there is hope.

 

Now it’s your turn! Take a photo of someone in your life fighting Alzheimer’s disease and post it on Facebook or Twitter (@ColoAlzAssoc) with the hashtag #StillMe ‪#‎ENDALZ‬

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“We Support You Not To Win Broncos Tickets, But Because What You Do Is Important”

Hindorff

Tom Hindorff‎ as he accepted a pair of AFC Divisional Playoff tickets to the Broncos vs Colts game.

“We support you not to win Broncos tickets, but because what you do is important,” said Tom Hindorff‎ as he accepted a pair of AFC Divisional Playoff tickets to the Broncos vs Colts game on Friday. Long time Alzheimer’s Association supporters and Broncos fans, Tom and his wife Jenny were quick to enter a ticket giveaway held by the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.

Following Pat Bowlen’s Alzheimer’s announcement at the start of the NFL season, along with the subsequent impact of the Bronco’s community partnership on Alzheimer’s awareness throughout Colorado, the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter wanted to reward Broncos fans for their support of the Alzheimer’s cause. For four days last week, Broncos fans and Alzheimer’s Association supporters were encouraged to sign up for the Association’s monthly email newsletter, for a chance to win a pair of AFC Divisional Playoff tickets. Thanks to television coverage by 9News and social media coverage by the Denver Broncos, word of available Broncos tickets quickly circulated and the response was overwhelming. More than 8,450 people signed up for a chance to win tickets. On Tuesday, the day the giveaway was announced, alz.org/co attracted 7,720 visitors. On the same day in 2014, the website had 248 visitors. Delighted by the positive response to the giveaway by Broncos fans, a generous longtime Alzheimer’s Association supporter donated an additional four tickets! Bringing the total tickets available to eight.

Broncos Ticket Giveaway Winner

Alzheimer’s Association CEO Linda Mitchell with Cassandra Campbell, one of four ticket winners.

Tom and Jenny Hindorff show their support for the Alzheimer's cause at Sunday's Bronco game.

Tom and Jenny Hindorff show their support for the Alzheimer’s cause at Sunday’s Bronco game.

On Friday, the four lucky winners were announced. The winners could not have been more excited after receiving a personal call from the Broncos and the Alzheimer’s Association. Tom Hindorff remarked that winning the tickets was, “a dream come true for me and my wife. We even found child care and will wear orange and purple to thank the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Although many fans left Sports Authority Field feeling deflated on Sunday night following the Broncos’ loss to the Colts, for those who won tickets while supporting a great cause the loss was easier to stomach. “Even though the Broncos lost, we still had a lot of fun,”  said Edward Rose.

Edward Rose enjoying the Broncos game.

Edward Rose enjoying the Broncos playoff game.

 checkoff-colorado-2015-alzheimers-association

Reaching Diverse Communities

Reaching diverse communities living with Alzheimer’s Disease is an exciting part of the work underway at the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Because Alzheimer’s disease affects African Americans and Hispanic communities at a rate almost twice higher the general population, reaching diverse communities is a key value of the Alzheimer’s Association. Providing Spanish speaking support through care consultations, support groups and education is one method for outreach to Latino families living with Alzheimer’s Disease. Diversity and Inclusion doesn’t stop there, take a peek at all the great work underway at the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association:

In February, Staff members David Hoppe and Marissa Volpe visited Aza Day Center to provide Education on the Basics Of Alzheimer’s Disease. Listening to how Iraqi communities care for elders in Iraq was especially interesting.

Diversity Outreach

Marissa Volpe engages with Iraqi women at the Aza Day Center.

SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) network and the National Alzheimer’s Association have announced their official partnership. Participating in a Senior Health fair with the Center/SAGE in early August works to increase awareness about Services and Programs for LGBT elders.

Diversity Outreach

Marissa Volpe with GLBT Senior Health Fair volunteers.

At Mairik Day Center in south Aurora, Nepalese, Burmese and Bhutanese Elders gather for social and educational purposes. The Alzheimer’s Association recently led an interactive session on The Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. One participant responded, “Oh, this is the disease we describe as when our parents become our children.”

Alzheimer's Diversity Outreach

Burmese and Bhutanese Elders gather for a presentation on Alzheimer’s.

Attendees at a local Senior “Pachanga” (party!) register for more information regarding Alzheimer’s disease. Spanish speaking services are available 24-7 through our Helpline. Besides Spanish, over 180 languages are offered on the helpline!
Senior Outreach

Attendees at a local Senior “Pachanga” register for more information regarding Alzheimer’s disease.

Diversity Volunteers Edgar and Erika enjoy their salsa dancing outreach at this year’s Diabetes Expo. Those living with heart disease and diabetes experience higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease.

Serving Diverse Communities

Diversity Volunteers Edgar and Erika enjoy their salsa dancing outreach at this year’s Diabetes Expo.

Diversity and Outreach is excited to announce a partnership with AINC (Audio Information Network of Colorado). The Alzheimer’s Association will be featured with its own station for those who seeking to receive information by radio or phone.

Diversity is imperative and integral to our mission at the Alzheimer’s Association. It is a promise we make to those we serve. Our team understands that valuing diversity and inclusiveness is critical to our mission of a world without Alzheimer’s. We seek to be inclusive of the millions of people currently affected by Alzheimer’s disease, their caregivers and the communities in which they live.

Marissa Volpe

Marissa Volpe

 

 

-Marissa Volpe, Multicultural Outreach Coordinator

Why I Walk To End Alzheimer’s – The Gali Family Story

My grandfather - Ricardo Gali

My grandfather – Ricardo Gali

 

We have chosen to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor for my grandfather Ricardo Gali who passed away from Alzheimer’s in December 2012 at the age of 97. My family has a unique background story which is why I feel my grandfather fought for so long and so hard.

 

My grandfather, grandmother were born and raised in Havana Cuba. When my mother was 2 years old they began their journey to America. My grandparents went through some very frightening events to get to America, including coming very close to being shot for sneaking milk to my mother and uncle (he was 1 at the time). From the minute my grandfather touched American soil he expressed how grateful he was to be here and how important family was. This was passed on to all of the grandchildren from a young age. I have very fond memories of my grandfather teaching us what it meant to be a part of a family that escaped Cuba unharmed. My grandfather always made sure we did everything as a family.

Growing up I thought it was normal to always have family gatherings with extended cousins, great aunts etc. As I got older I realized how unique we were and cherished it even more. My grandfather was always a very active person and never believed in hiring anyone to do anything, rather do it all himself. As time went on I saw the change in my grandfather and saw him getting more and more frustrated with things that seemed effortless not too long prior. As time went on we all started to see not only the affect on him but also my grandmother as she was the main care taker for him, but never once gave up. We all helped out where we could constantly visiting and staying late to make sure my grandmother had help and had someone to talk to when there were bad days.

My grandfather and Grandmother a few years prior to my grandfather passing away.

My grandfather and Grandmother a few years prior to my grandfather passing away.

3 years prior to my grandfather passing he began falling a lot and my grandmother could not help him back up, so all of the children and grandchildren moved our family’s to be closer so there was always someone minutes away in case of an emergency. Shortly after we all moved I saw the values that my grandfather constantly talked about come to life. My grandfather had fallen, but this time he had hurt himself pretty bad and we had to call the ambulance. Within minutes of us getting the call that he fell and needed a hospital we were all at my grandparent’s house to help out and keep my grandmother calm. As the ambulance took him away we all followed. The hospital had about 30 people sitting in the waiting room to hear about my grandfather. Towards the end things got harder but we never gave up and spent as much time as possible with him knowing time was coming to an end.

 

It will be 2 years in December since my grandfather has passed and our family has only bonded closer and stronger. We are all still hurt over his passing but know he is watching over us. We still gather for every holiday, birthday, and just because, because that is how he would of wanted it and that is how he liked our family, close together and spreading endless love between each other. This is why we will be participating as a family in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Denver City Park on September 20, 2014 to honor Ricardo Gali.

-Mallerie Lapp