For all the mothers and daughters in the world

I could always count on my mom to be there for me. When I was a child, she organized my Brownie troop and was president of the parent-teacher association. But I loved my mom most deeply when I witnessed the love she showed my own children. She was a phenomenal grandmother. Sharing my children with her was our strongest bond and remains one of my most endearing memories of her.
Mom was only 64 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At first, I noticed she was forgetting birthdays, but eventually she barely recognized me. My mother died a month before her 80th birthday after living with this awful disease for 16 years.
I tell people that I have not cried in five years because I am out of tears after crying every day that I saw my mom in this condition. It was the most horrific experience for all of us; me, my mother, my sister, our kids — everyone was affected.
Alzheimer’s is a hideous disease. It goes on for years and it is alarmingly expensive for families. Even those with wealth and financial means cannot afford the disease. People have to do something to end this. I decided I could be one of those people, so I volunteered with the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and the local Alzheimer’s Association office.
I decided to do something that would allow me to have an even bigger impact. When I was updating my will, my attorney asked if there was any other gift I wanted to leave in my will. I did not hesitate. I responded out of passion. I said, “Yes. I want to leave a significant gift to the Alzheimer’s Association. And I want it to go toward research for prevention or a cure.” 
I made my gift in honor of my mother and all the mothers and daughters in the world who may one day travel this path. It feels good to do my part to make their journey easier.
Adrienne Edelstein has been a tireless volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association since 2004. She currently sits on the board of directors of the New York City local office and has participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the last six years. After her mother’s passing, Adrienne is committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.