But I discipline my body and keep it under control lest after preaching to others I should be disqualified. 1 Cor. 9:27
Happy Monday you all! Happy “Monday after the Walk” as well! Today will be kind of an early Who, What, Where, Why, When-sday episode, hoping to capture the remaining zeitgeist of our walk from this weekend. There is a lot to discuss and it may seem a little more shotgun pattern than normal, but thank you in advance for the grace. 🙂 Here are a few recaps and pictures:
So…we’ve Walked to End Alzheimer’s. We raised around $94,000 (although that number will jump well beyond $100k soon and should get to its $125,000 goal soon as well.) We laughed. We cried. We hugged, in a physically distanced way.
Is that it?
Is dementia doomed?
Are we done?
Nope. 🙂 Good news, though…we are getting closer with every event and every day!!!
We have begun the journey (some of us, yet again…). Here is what is next, in no particular order and knowing that “my thing” and “your thing” can be completely different:
- Awareness– There are many teaching opportunities available through the Alzheimer’s Association and through SeniorAge in this area. Here is one of the Association’s websites dedicated to training: LINK SeniorAge is partnered with Dementia Freinds and other groups to raise awareness and to help those in need. Email me (Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org), Chris Thompson (Chris.Thompson@senioragemo.org) or Theresa Davis (Theresa.email@example.com) and we can point you in many good directions for how you can help raise awareness.
- Clinical Trials– Trial Match is a service provided by the Alzheimer’s Association to help you match clinical trials to participants. If you are interested in this mission-critical process if we are to ever #EndALZ , I highly recommend this site as a launch point. I used this service to find the three trials I am involved in: one at KU and the other two at WashU (St. Louis). I ahve found and served in several non-invasive trials through this website including help evaluating websites (including this one), and other serveys and small programs. Some of these do pay a stipent, as well, to help with any expenses associated. Without clinical triels in their many forms (and brain donations of deceased patients), the needle will be slow to inch forward, but with them, the sky is the limit. I will fill you in more throughout this month on my trials. 🙂
- Advocacy– The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement is a wonderful organization in helping inform our government of the many things we are doing and on the topic in general. Thgis is always, always, always important, but it is even more important when a new crop of legislators is elected, as will be the case in about a year. Join this group and be prepared to tell your story. Not much beyond that is required in most circumstances….but your impact using your story is HUGE!
- Fundraising– We will still be raising funds for our Walk team through 12/31/21. Another great venue to start now in fundraising is The Longest Day, typically held on or around the summer solstice in late June. My Runnin’ Til I’m Purple II event will be then and I will start begging, borrowing and…uhhh….begging some more for coin for that event. It is a huge fundraiser and it is flexible…whatever you want to do in honor of a loved one can be accomodated.
- Helping those with the disease– I have to mention to find folks who need help and help them. Offer specific things you can do rather than the challenging “What can I do to help?”. Instead say “How about I hang out with your loved one while you go to the store or take a walk?” Caregivers are often too shy to ask for help…help them know you will help them. 😉
We have momentum and we are moving the needle toward a cure. There was a new treatment approved and several more coming down the pipeline…all because of the hard work of the association and its employees and volunteers. 🙂 Let’s keep walking daily…we will get there!
Update– Mom is still having food aspiration issues on and off. It shows up as a rasp in her lungs. We are debating switching her off food to a thickened liquid diet, but the longer we can hold off, the better. This is a terrible part of the disease as pain and discomfort factor in at times… I wish I could fix this for her so bad… 🙁 I get a visit tomorrow outdoors because of another (!!) Covid case among the staff. Mom is a fighter. I am so proud of her through this mess and want to honor her however I can now and after she is gone, minus a cure.
Runnin’ Til I’m Purple Update– I am working on the website right now. As far as training goes, I have a cool event Friday night into Saturday. I will be participating in the “Paws for a Cause 6 HR Night Run” in support of Whispering Willows. Here is their website if you want to read more and/or support their cause: LINK Seniors with health concerns or that are struggling financially may struggle to be able to fully care for their often long-time fur companions…and then when they pass away or are placed in long-term care, their pets are often put in a pinch. Old/potentially sick pets are seldom if ever, adopted even after they have had a wonderful, long life of service. Enter Whispering Willows. As their website beautifully expresses:
“Many people are afraid to face death and fail to plan for their pet’s future. Death, or a sudden tragedy, can be a frightening reality and this is one of the reasons Whispering Willows exists. WWSDS is a 501c3 non-profit and licensed in the state of Missouri. Most shelters do not have the provisions to care for seniors or hospice dogs. We assist the community locally and nationwide by filling this gap. Whispering Willows is a place to call home,” said Valerie Reid, the President. WWSDS is a lifetime sanctuary providing shelter, medical care, and most of all love until the senior dog passes. The rescue specializes in end-of-life hospice care for seniors, allowing some to experience love for the very first time.”https://www.whisperingwillowsseniordogsanctuary.com/
I serve seniors and write a dementia blog. The overlap here is obvious. Many, many of our folks face these issues, and wouldn’t it be nice to know they could still have a chance at being adopted and/or living out life in a cage-free state of peace? I think it is a natural partner for what I do in Runnin’ Til I’m Purple and I am happy to support them. I will be on the SeniorAge radio show tomorrow at 11 am CST with the event organizer/hostess Stephanie Lane to discuss the run and the organization and I hope you can catch it on the radio or online. Here is the show’s website link: LINK Click on Listen Live at 11 am CST tomorrow. 🙂
Last little shout-outs: The Sigma Kappa sorority. Wow…you were/are amazing! They led all local groups in fundraising (by a large amount) and are in the top three nationwide among their amazingly philanthropic group (teetering on 1st!). Springfield’s Delta Upsilon Chapter dominated chapters from all over, even those much bigger. They also served as volunteers in the event, but that is an understatement and a half! They did lots and lots and lots of the work and did so with a smile. Thank you #SigmaKappa! You are the bomb! WE WOULD HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO DO IT WITHOUT YOU!
Thank you as well to all of the sponsors of all sizes shapes and colors, from the ever-amazing Edward Jones to CVS Health, both National presenting sponsors. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! It took many, many wonderful groups to pull this event off, and that you did! Thank you! We had 80 teams this year and at least 700 participants although I expect that that number was higher… What a year! And now the planning begins for next year’s event. 🙂
Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors!
Thank you to our National Presenting Sponsors: