Four years ago, Cathy Edler and her sisters Rhonda and Callie, formed a Walk to End Alzheimer’s team to support their mom Suella, who is living with Alzheimer’s. The daughters began to notice memory issues with Suella when she was only 62. That was ten years ago.
Alzheimer’s disease runs in Cathy’s mom’s family. In addition to her mother, Cathy’s grandmother, aunt and two uncles have also struggled with the disease. Cathy was the primary caregiver for her mother for nearly two years before Suella went to live in a care facility, where she resides today. “It’s been a long journey,” said Cathy. “Her body is strong now, but her mind is not.”
As part of their Alzheimer’s journey, Cathy and her sisters have looked to the Alzheimer’s Association for support. They accessed information and resources available through the 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) and have also attended a monthly support group in Lake Geneva. “We try to be a resource to other families too,” said Cathy. “We are fighting back by sharing our experiences with others.”
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is always a high note for family members. “This year we raised $1629 and had 22 members on our team,” said Cathy. “We are very proud that every year our team grows in numbers because that means we are doing our jobs by making more and more people aware of this horrific disease. We walk in honor of our mom, Suella, in memory of our Aunt Fema and for future generations in hopes to eliminate Alzheimer's.”
Suella’s three daughters have lovingly named the team after their mother’s favorite flower – the Purple Rose, a symbol of deep and abiding love. “We miss our mom so much” said Cathy.