The saddest part is, my story is not unique. Many who read this will have similar ones to tell. Noticing that my mom wasn’t quite right was a scary revelation. Realizing that it was happening at age 55 was terrifying. She was a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend…roles that she taught me how to do well. She was an avid reader and trivia buff. She was a registered nurse at a nursing home for 22 years, a job she enjoyed tremendously. She has lived in one now for 6 years. She is almost 67 years old.
Having lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer, I knew there were many ways to donate. Many ways to do something. As a runner, I found races that support breast cancer research. I looked for the same to support my mom. For a disease that affects 5.4 million Americans, 20 percent of us over 65 and a whopping 50 percent of us over 85, I was shocked to find not one race benefitting Alzheimer’s disease. The feelings of helplessness grew.
This disease is devastating to watch, however there was nothing to do but watch.
As a personal trainer, I believe in change. Things can be different than they are now. I decided to change the lack of races. I reached out to my friend and fellow fitness enthusiast, Barbara Geiger, who has fundraising experience and asked if she would be interested in helping put something together. A race was born.
The name of the race started with Melissa Etheridge’s song in reference to breast cancer, “I Run for Life.” “Running for answers” is a line in that song. The second we read that line, we knew it was the race’s name. We lack answers. They are lacking in the research world and in our personal worlds. How often did I hope that the answer to the question, “Mom, do you know who I am?” would produce the right answer…or even AN answer.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (www.curealzfund.org) is exactly the type of organization that I was looking for. Their singular focus on research is what we all need.
This is Running 4 Answers’ second year. The experience continues to be exciting and beyond rewarding. I’m not just watching my mom in a nursing home. We are doing something. It alone will not solve the problem, but it is a step in the right direction.
This race offers the opportunity for YOU to do something, too. Run. Walk. Donate. Sponsor.