"Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quiet for her to hear them"
- Lisa Genova (excerpt from Still Alice)
According to the Alzheimers Association's latest statistics, "there are 5.4 million americans living with alzheimers, 1 in 8 older american's has alzheimers and it is the sixth leading cause of death".
"Alzheimers is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks nerve cells in neurons, that results in loss of memory, thinking and language skills and behavior changes" (facts from Alz.org) More than half of all amercians know someone with alzheimers, and my family is a part of this statistic.
My 74 year old mother recently participated in a Walk to End Alzheimers and I could not be more proud of her. She and three of her siblings are sharing the responsibility of caring for their younger sister, so the walk was very personal to her. While we know now, that there were signs of the disorder earlier on, she was around 64 when diagnosed. Actively employed with the Government for well over 30 years, it's been very heartbreaking to watch this disease take over her life.
I did not participate in the walk, but I was there to capture the moment. What stuck with me the most during the morning were the vibrant colors that represent the Alzheimers disease, a stark contrast to the reality of one dealing with the disorder, as well as the personal experience of family care givers.
To find out more information about Alzheimers visit Alz.org. Also, Still Alice written by, Neuroscientist, Lisa Genova is also an excellent fiction book that captures a realistic portrait of the early onset of the disease. I was so engrossed in the pages of this book, that I read it in one day!
Giving back feels good. There are many ways to be a part of something special. On this day, while I did not participate in the walk, I contributed through my monetary donation, as well as captured some memorable moments for our local organization.
Unveiling and giving,