Dear Miami Valley,
On Christmas day, 2013, Deb’s father Don Richard lost his eight year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. It was a devastating journey for my mother, brothers, sisters and me. It was incredibly heartbreaking for my family to watch my father progress from the great man we all knew him to be to being unable to walk then gradually being unable to talk or care for himself and to finally being bed-ridden and not knowing who he was or any of his family or friends.
This is why we started to Walk – to honor our father and to support the organization that provided in-home respite care to allow my mother to have some time away from being the 24/7 caregiver. The Alzheimer’s Association also provided transportation and adult day-care services that would allow my father to socialize and participate in activities that he could not at home.
Anyone who has been on this journey knows that this disease is a family disease. It takes a toll on the caregivers and the family members. The support we needed came from the Alzheimer’s Association and that is why we must walk.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is our largest support group and is where everyone from Miami County can get together to literally take steps towards a world without Alzheimer’s.
We invite you to join us, pick the Promise Garden Flower that best represents you (Blue is for someone living with the disease, Yellow is for a caregiver both professional or personal, Orange is for a supporter and Purple is for those of us who have lost someone to the disease).
This is our sixth year walking and our second year chairing the event. We would love to have every person affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia in Miami County to join us at the Walk; there are nearly 6,000 of us who have been affected in some way by this disease. On Saturday, September 16 at the Troy Courthouse Square, we will be there walking for you, your loved ones and for the day when we find the first survivor.
Jim & Deb Meyer