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Mission Moment: Why I Walk
By Christine A. Barker, Sabrina’s mother

Last year was Sabrina’s first Alzheimer’s Walk. She was team leader of the Bright Yellow House Team, a team she formed and named in honor of her grandfather Herbert Barker who lived in a bright yellow house so that he could continue to find his way home.  She walked and hoped for a cure, a miracle, for her “dada”.  Sabrina’s grandfather died of Alzheimer’s/dementia related complications on January 22, 2011.  She was devastated.  Her family wasn’t sure whether she would want to do the walk again this year.  When asked she said, “yes mommy, because I want to help other people so they don’t have to lose their dada like I lost mine.   It is important to participate in Walk to support people like Sabrina and her Bright Yellow House Team.

 

Mission Moment: Why I Walk
by Dianne Davis

 

I have been the co chair of the New Haven Walk and team leader of the Adler Geriatric Assessment Center Memory Walk team since 1995. My volunteer activities for the Alzheimer’s Association, which in the past also included Chapter Board membership and committee chairmanships, originally grew out of my professional work with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families as a geriatric case manager at the Adler Center. In recent years my mother in law has been dementing, so now my commitment to the cause has an even more personal motivation. I am determined to make each year’s Walk more successful than the last, since I believe in the Alzheimer’s Association and its mission so strongly.

 

Mission Moment: Why I Walk
by Kate Bartelmo

I have been participating with the Walks the Fall of 2003.  I began participating in recognition, honor and love of all my residents who have, have been or will be affected with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.  Alzheimer's is not only close to my heart because of my residents but also my grandmother who is living with the disease and my great grandmother who has passed from the disease.  I decided to take a leadership role so that I could advocate for my residents by more then just participating in the walk but helping to ensure the walk is successful and provides families and caregivers with moments of joy and satisfaction for all their hard work.  It is with my pleasure to be part of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 

Mission Moment: Why I Walk
by Donnie Divin

The fight against Alzheimer’s is personal for us.  Cherri’s diagnosis has changed our lives and has opened a world of uncertainty for our family.  We are angry at and determined to defeat a disease that robs a person of their life’s memories, skills, and relationships. Our team enthusiastically believes that our efforts do and will make a difference.  We have personally seen the progress that has been made in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The evolution of MRI scanning, the use of drugs to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and the many clinical trials now being run, all point to a concerted effort to rid society of this disease now.  It is personal, and now is not soon enough.

Mission Moment: Why I Walk
by Kathleen J. Maher.

 
I work in a nursing facility and am co-chair for our Support Group.  I see how this disease affects my Residents and their families and it hurts me.  This is truly a double death for so many people.  It is hard for loved ones to come in and see their families and remember who they were.  We encourage them to get the most out of their lives and to cherish each and every day.  As a Therapeutic Recreation Director I want to give the best quality of life I can to my Residents for as long as I possibly can.  By leading a Walk team, it is a small way I can give towards ending this disease by raising funds.  I have a wonderful team at Candlewood Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center.  Not only did we raise the most money for our region, we had the largest team and I am very proud of us all.

Below is a poem I wrote after one of my friends visited her husband who has Alzheimer’s.  She had a really hard time because he didn't recognize her - or at least that is the way she felt.  These words just came out of me and it is truly how I feel.
 
 
 
Remember Who I Was

Think of when we met, So many years ago
I can see you cry, But your reason I don’t know
My body is a shell, Of who I used to be
I am still around, I live in your memory
Remember who I was, Let that give you peace
I can’t tell you dear, But my love will never cease
Just share our story, As you gently hold my hand
Help me leave my imprint, Like footsteps in the sand
Don’t feel any guilt, For what I’m going through
I don’t know the difference, My concern is all for you
I hold you oh so tight, While you dream the night away
Remember who I was, As you start a fresh new day
 
Kathleen J. Maher
11/26/07
For my dear friend Liz
To give her peace


 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.