The Good Fight with ALZ Stars
There was a phrase my parents used a lot when I was growing up. They said, “Keep fighting the Good Fight.” For the longest time I didn’t know what they were talking about. I thought maybe that was a product of their New York Borough upbringing. Which I imagine looked something like West Side Story… Turns out I was wrong. The Good Fight is knowing when it’s okay not give in and just take what life gives you. It’s knowing that there is something out there worth fighting for. I decided to Fight the Good Fight.
On October 26, 2014 I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon with ALZ Stars to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my grandmother Marie Ann Martin O’Day. My Nanna passed away in April of 2012. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for 9 years. Despite having signed a DNR when she was officially diagnosed she remained on this Earth for an additional 9 years. She looked like the woman whom she’d been her entire life, but she wasn’t that person anymore. Alzheimer’s took who she was away. Alzheimer’s took away the magnetic laugh, twinkle in her eye, and wicked sense of humor. It also took away her memories, hopes, dreams, and with that her connection to the one’s she loved.
No longer did she enjoy fresh Boston Cream Donuts, Cross-stitching, or bowling. She became confused and more frequently than not didn’t recognize her own family let alone recognize herself. These were moments where she’d become disoriented. On one visit, I remember telling her I’d turned 21. “That’s not possible,” she said to me, “You can’t be 21, I’m 19.”
Without knowing, I watched her relive the horror of her parent’s death because I’d reminded her they’d died 30 years ago. To her they were still around and she didn’t understand why they hadn’t come to pick her up yet. From that moment on her parents were “on their way” or “on vacation.” On many visits she confused me for her sister or a friend. Eventually, she’d forgotten entirely about being such an intricate part in my life. That phase didn’t last long, by that point she’d lost the ability to speak.
Alzheimer’s disease is ruthless and without a cure. More people than we realize are effected by this on a daily basis. It’s not old-age or just forgetfulness. After watching the effects of Alzheimer’s first hand I now understand that a cure needs to be found.
Please help me raise funds to help advance research to discover methods of prevention, treatment and ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s. For more information check out my fundraising page.
I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this. I know that’s it’s a littler heavier than my usual post, however this is a cause that I feel so strongly about. On October 26, 2014, I have the privilege and honor of supporting this organization and running the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of my grandmother.
Have you ever run as a charity runner? Are you running the Marine Corps Marathon? What’s on your mind?
This is a raw and beautiful reflection of your love for your grandmother and also the terrors of what ALZ can do to the bright stars in our lives. When you do run MCM, you will find yourself constantly fighting the good fight, and surrounded by thousands of others doing the same for themselves and for others. You will be closer to your grandmother than you can ever believe. MCM impacted me far more than I ever could have imagined.
Thank you. 🙂 I look forward to experiencing MCM. It looks like there are so many great organizations involved and personal moments that take place at that race.
What an absolutely wonderful cause. Alzheimer’s has affected my grandparents, as well as my friends’ families. I’m wishing you the best of luck in the MCM!
Thank you!! I’m sorry to hear about your grandparents and your friends families.
Thank you for running for such an amazing cause. I know how much this means to you, and it means a great deal for me too. Run strong!
🙂 Thanks! It means so much for your to say that. I know that this is a cause very close to you too!