As the Walk to End Alzheimer’s approaches, Lise Maes, Walk Committee Member and Team Captain, shares why she walks:
The main reason I participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is to pay tribute to my grandmother who suffered in an 8 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was a great source of love and light in my life. Watching her deterioration due to Alzheimer’s was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced.
I’ll be quite honest – the Walk is also a way for me to transform the negative energy that resulted from losing someone I love to the cruelest disease imaginable.
I’m still very angry that my grandmother was taken from me in such an unfair way. She slowly but surely lost her memory, her independence and her ability to determine reality. In addition, she lost the ability to carry out a number of practical routines that many of us take for granted – driving, cooking, walking, getting dressed, bathing and swallowing. As I continue to work on coming to terms with what she went through and with her absence in my life, the Walk provides a positive way to cope and to channel my energy into doing something positive to make a difference.
As I witnessed the painful effects Alzheimer’s had on my family, I started asking myself why the disease didn’t receive more attention and more funding. I was motivated to change that, so I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and its largest fundraiser, Memory Walk – now called the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. It’s been a great experience gathering together with family, friends, caregivers and concerned community members who all want to make a difference.
By raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and fundraising for a cure, we can change the lives of those who are battling the disease and those who generously and tirelessly provide care for the afflicted. It is so important that we step up and act as a strong and united force against this disease. This is how we pay our tribute to those we have lost and this is how we ensure our ultimate goal – a world without Alzheimer’s.
Why do you participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s? Let us know at Facebook.com/alzco and you could be featured in a future blog post!