Growing up in the small Colorado town of Sterling, Allie (Svacina) Manzanares was her grandmother’s shadow. Since Allie’s mom was busy working two jobs, grandmother Ethel Svacina played a key role in raising her granddaughter. Not only was she her granddaughter’s “best friend,” but Allie inherited her grandmother’s love of baking – and her desire to share it with the world.
Grandma Ethel, who passed away in 2005 after a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, was renowned for her cinnamon rolls. When word got out that Ethel was baking, people would offer to buy her baked goods, but Ethel would never accept a cent. Her pleasure came from seeing the smiles on her neighbors’ faces.
“I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother,” said Allie. “I think of all the time I spent in the kitchen with her baking, helping her where I could and just watching her do her magic. But, sadly, toward the end of her life, she had no idea who I was.”
Allie, who now operates a small cottage foods bakery, Chaos Cakes by Allie
, is honoring the memory of her grandmother by baking her special cinnamon rolls to raise funds to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease as part of the Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day event leading up to June 20 – the longest day of the year.
Located in the North Thornton/Brighton area, Allie is unable to offer delivery on orders, but indicated that she has some special Alzheimer’s Awareness packages to thank those individuals who are out of state or unable to pick up cinnamon rolls but still want to support the Alzheimer’s Longest Day cause.
Having spent a lot of time with her grandmother as she progressed through Alzheimer’s, Allie hopes that others can appreciate the challenges facing caregivers, as well as the importance of finding a cure for the sixth-leading cause of death that affects 76,000 Coloradans among the 6.2 million people in the U.S. with the disease.
“I want people to be aware of how flexible and patient they need to be with those suffering from this disease,” said Allie. “As hard as it is on family and friends, I can only imagine how hard it is on the person affected by the disease.”
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, go to alz.org/co
or call the free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.