As you might know, my cool-as-hell wife has taken up cycling as a hobby. And in the beginning of May, she's going to be going on the longest ride she's ever attempted, a 42-mile ride around the boroughs of New York City. She's doing this to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association, and, well, I'll let her explain:
As most of you know, I’ve started bike riding. Partly for exercise, partly to reduce my gas usage, but mostly for fun. Last fall I joined a group ride to bike 30 miles around Monmouth County just for the challenge of it. This spring I’ve decided to take it up a couple of notches. On May 1st, I’m going to be riding in the 5 Boro Tour, a 42-mile ride through all five boroughs of New York City. I’m not just doing this to challenge myself; I’m making this ride as part of Team Bike to End Alzheimer’s. In doing so, I hope to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as, with your help, raise funds for research to fight this disease and support those coping with Alzheimer’s and dementia, either as patients or caregivers of those afflicted.
My grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, and while dementia can be the result of various diseases and conditions, in my grandmother’s case, the symptoms were very similar to Alzheimer’s disease. She was often confused about where she was. She couldn’t recognize family members. She couldn’t maintain a daily routine or handle many of the activities of daily living.
These changes in Gram took a large toll on my mom and her siblings. While dementia afflicts an individual, everyone around that person is deeply affected. The uncle living with Gram when she was diagnosed put his life largely on hold to take care of her. Another uncle handled many of the legal and financial matters. My mom dealt with a lot of the health insurance bureaucracy. All of the siblings agreed when it was time to move Gram to a nursing home. See, one of the worst things about Alzheimer’s and dementia is that the person with the illness looses the ability to make good decisions, so those around them must make the decisions for them. I’m riding so that families don’t need to make these hard decision for each other, or feel like they’re sitting idly by while a love one fades away.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Approximately 5.4 million people have Alzheimer’s, and there are 14.9 million unpaid caregivers, such as family, friends and volunteers. The Alzheimer’s Association offers patients and caregivers support through programs such as a 24-hour helpline, education and referral programs and caregiver support groups. 44 percent of the funds raised by the Alzheimer’s Association goes to researching Alzheimer’s and other dementias in hopes of finding a cure, a cause, and ways to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s.Please support my efforts and the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association by making a generous contribution. It just takes a few minutes to make an online donation. Simply click on the link at the bottom of this message, which will bring you right to my personal page. Feel free to forward this message to anyone else who you think may also wish to contribute.
Thank you for your support.
Kathy StaegerMy personal page:http://2011biketoendalz.
kintera.org/kathyFor more information about Alzheimer’s Association:www.alz.org
If you're able to give a little, please do. I'm proud as hell that she's doing this... and in awe that she's in the kind of shape that can make this happen.