June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month and No Bags To Check is going purple with an Alzheimer's Awareness series dedicated to this important cause and the Alzheimer's Association's The Longest Day event on June 21st. This guest post is by Rachel DeGrand.
This year will be the third year that I will be participating in The Longest Day, an event from sunup to sundown on June 21st. My team, Running to Remember, will be running non-stop for 16 hours around a high school track in Appleton, Wisconsin. In my first year participating I ran 37 miles and last year I ran 42 miles, so of course this year my goal will be to run 50 miles throughout the day!
It won't be easy, but it isn't supposed to be. Alzheimer's patients and caregivers deal with this devastating disease 24 hours a day, every day - so dedicating 16 hours of one day in our lives is just a small sacrifice we can make to honor them. And while we run for those 16 hours, we'll be raising money, raising awareness, and hoping that one day we'll live in a world without Alzheimer's.
My mom has worked at a nursing home for 30 plus years. Her job is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Many of the residents suffer from Alzheimer's and it's a challenge everyday to care for them and see the heartache their families go through as they slip away.
She even had to care for her father, my grandpa, as he fought his own battle with dementia. My sister and I visited him as much as possible, but it was hard as each time we saw him, he remembered us less and less until he didn't even know us anymore. He didn't even recognize his own daughter who cared for him each day. That is something no one deserves to go through.
For me, this event has turned into something bigger than just an all-day running event. My teammates and I have had so many people come forward with heartbreaking personal stories of their own and it proves how this day is so much more than a simple fundraiser. It’s also a chance for those who have been impacted to come together, honor their loved ones and know that they are not alone.
Rachel DeGrand lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and their two fat cats. When she's not stuck at her desk playing office manager she's probably out running! Make sure to check our her blog, Running in Real Life. To donate to her amazing The Longest Day team, click here.
Wait a minute- isn't this usually a travel blog? You're right, but for the next three weeks I'm dedicating my little internet real estate to this cause that is near and dear to my heart. I hope it encourages people to share information, stories, and support. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don't miss a post and you can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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Filed under: Alzheimer's