Local Albuquerque man Ryan Mummert is channeling his competitive spirit by running the Boston Marathon as a fundraiser for the New Mexico Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. After losing a family member to Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, Mummert is determined to use this opportunity to raise money and awareness for this devastating disease. “There is no need to feel helpless and lost,” says Mummert, “we can all do something.”
Mummert, a youth football coach and former offensive lineman for the UNM Lobos, has a passion for health and fitness; competing in several Ironman distance triathlons. But for him, his wife Brandi and teenage sons William and Brayden, this particular athletic pursuit holds more personal significance. When Brandi’s grandfather was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they experienced first-hand the impact the disease has on families. “I watched as our family felt helpless and struggled to know what to do,” recalls Mummert. “It’s important to know the local resources that can help friends and families affected by Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter provided caregiver training to my wife’s parents and grandmother; as well as information on other helpful resources, like respite care.”
By dedicating his 2019 Boston Marathon efforts to the New Mexico Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Mummert hopes to both increase awareness in the state and to help the chapter continue providing free support services for local families dealing with the disease. Currently, there are 39,000 New Mexicans living with Alzheimer’s; and 107,000 family members who serve as their unpaid caregivers.
“I am not pursuing this on my own,” says Mummert. “I have been blessed with great support from family and friends.” Mummert’s decision to run the marathon as a fundraiser was also inspired by his father-in-law, Steve Shaw, a retired Rio Rancho police officer who turned the loss of his father to Alzheimer’s into a passion for making sure others have access to the same resources he found. “He became a board member of the NM Chapter, setting a great example to our family, making sure that others get the help they need,” says Mummert.
You can support Ryan and his journey at: http://act.alz.org/goto/RyanRuns4Alz
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.