It’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month!

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness month.  It has also been just about a month since I participated in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.  It was my 3rd year raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, and a record breaking one, at that.  Three years ago I raise about $250, from immediate family and few friends.  In 2009 I raised $500, and was beyond impressed.  This year I’ve raised almost $2,000!  It blew me away.

The person I do all this for, has no idea.  My family has watched my grandmother slowly disappear over the last few years.  I walk in honor of her, family members donate in her honor, and she has no idea we do this.  Initially we assumed she would be embarrassed.  Now we know she would never remember, or understand.

I’ve been raising money for the Walk since mid- summer, as a result of which, Alzheimer’s has been everywhere for me for a while, and coming up everywhere in conversation.  I wasn’t surprised then when I was seeing it come up again in the news.  What I wasn’t expecting was a report on how it affects more women than men.

A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s looks at the staggering number of women living with the disease and caring for loved ones.  It is a little shocking to see that 10 million women either have Alzheimer’s or provide care to someone who does.  Women make up two thirds of those living with the disease!  The report is an eye opening read, and I recommend it to those dealing with the disease within their families.

I wish it had been out when the National Capital Area Walk took place in early October.  I know this information will help me next year in my fundraising efforts, where I plan to raise more than $2,000!  One thing I have always been able to get as a take away from the walk, is the knowledge that my family is not alone.  Far from it, in fact.  With a known 5.3 million people living with the disease, and probably more who have yet to be diagnosed, no one is alone in watching loved ones vanish before them, or caring for family who no longer knows them.

I have found myself reading anything about Alzheimer’s I can get my hands on in the past year, and the more time I spend raising money and talking about the issues that go along with this disease, the more I want to know.  There is so much that is not known, and too many questions scientists are struggling to answer.

In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, I urge you to take a look at A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s, or the Alzheimer’s Association Website.  The National Capital Chapter is still trying to reach their Memory Walk goal, and you can still give to the Walk!  I hope you will consider a donation to help find a cure, provide care, and keep the research going.

My guess is you know someone living with the disease, someone caring for a loved one, or a family affected by the disease.  Take a few minutes and learn more! I do all this in honor of my grandma, who will you do this for?

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