It has been a pretty rough month already. Three more have passed away in the last week or so, including a latecomer to the Sweet 17 ( at least 2 of dementia complications and the third likely probably did too although something else gets the blame for his passing). Multiply her little nursing home, with a couple hundred beds, times the dozens and dozens in just the Ozarks’ region alone. The Ozarks compared to large cities and nations represents a drop in the bucket. A sneeze micro-drop really…We are a sand flea on the humpback of the problem in Missouri alone, yet we lose damsels in distress and well as Prince Charmings in peril in droves. What can we do, you ask? It is, indeed, a “starving children in Africa” problem. It is huge in scope, in lives and in numbers. It is far, far, far more than we can fix alone.
But what if….
- What is 1,000,000 people gave one McDonald’s meal’s cost to research?
- What if 100,000 more people walked in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s?
- What if 10,000 more Longest Day fundraisers were organized?
- What if 1,000 organizations became corporate sponsors?
- What if 100 more people advocated for patients and families harmed by this disease in Missouri legislature events?
- What if 10 people started support groups with patient caregiver help available during the sessions?
- What if 1 more of us talked to our neighbor who is struggling and doesn’t know where to turn or we wrote a goofy, comfort-food-name-based blog telling about our story so more could understand?
The temptation, when a problem is exceedingly more than one person can fix, is to throw up our hands and say “I sure wish someone would find a cure or end homelessness or feed those children or adopt those puppies!” and move on, demoralized. I get it…I really do. I have been that way for decades. Solution: While some are in a position to do more, all can do something and a million somethings can sure add up into a big, fat, juicy something really quickly.
If you are looking for a fun way you can help, here is one way:
Join my “Never Gonna Give You Up” Walk to End Alzheimer’s team or send a donation of any size to the Alzheimer’s Association. If you prefer to send in a check as a donation, the local office that supports the local Walk is located at:
Alzheimer’s Association – Greater MO Chapter
3645 South Ave, Springfield, MO 65807
Include a note on the check that you are donating in honor of our little “Never Gonna Give You Up” team headed up by your’s truly, Mark Applegate. They will note that and I will add it to our little fundraising tally. 🙂
If you are not local, rest assured, there is an event coming to a town near you. Visit ALZ.org for details, for help, for support, etc…
Back to the Joining the Walk Team part… Join us September 21st in Springfield, Mo. at Jordan Valley Park. It is usually held in mid-to-late morning (details coming soon) and there is a really cool food truck event adjacent to the Walk area so have some deep fried Oreos or Funnel Cakes…uhhh….errrr…I MEANT to say some kale and artichoke wraps…after you walk. 😉 It is a leisurely walk. Some use a wheelchair. Some skate. Some watch. All are blessed and all help with their presence and support/encouragement.
Sigh….Time keeps on ticking. My youngest started his senior year in HS today. My middle child (daughter) starts year 2 of college at Southwest Baptist University Monday, the same school who employs my way-more-beautiful-inside-and-out-than-I-deserve bride of nearly 29 years. My oldest started year 2 of teaching K-6 music for 500 kids a couple hours east of us. (Some of whom will have dementia someday…minus a cure… and music may be all they have left). I start year four this month at SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging, a non-profit that does tons and tons and tons of things for seniors, including those with dementia, every single day.
All of us are doing little, medium and sometimes big things to find a cure as part of our little family. It seems like there are often hopeful news blips, but most end up being clouds without rain. So I ask you to fight the discouragement that comes with problems to big to handle. Keep praying, keep advocating, keep visiting, keep supporting, keep coming to the blog and saying hi… Until there is a cure and a brand new white flower brought forth at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s symbolizing the first survivor, we keep walking and doing something.
Update: Mom was doing well yesterday and this morning. Still smiling, still fighting, still slowly declining…. but doing so with grace. Hope to be there again today and/or tomorrow to hang with her.