Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let's End It

$320.00 buys:


Roundtrip plane ticket to LA from Houston and back
A Nice, nice watch
160 or so junior scoops at Baskin Robins
5 pairs of Tom's shoes
XBox 360 or something like that (so son #2 tells me)
320- .99 cent songs on itunes (I know all too well...)
THE latest pocket digital camera
snowboard (so I hear, anyway... maybe really groovy ones are more?)
weekend of Yoga... in the US (Partner Yoga is just about that price)


That's what $320 buys. It also buys a possible cure.


Dozens of yogis have donated a $1 here and $5 there... to contribute to the Alzheimer's Association. I am honored to lead 2 yoga classes a week to raise awareness for Alzheimer's. It's a disease that affects 15 million caregivers. My dad is one of them. He single-handedly takes care of my Nana, his wife of 25 years. Feeding her smoothies with veggies & fruit for breakfast, when she cannot remember to eat. He gently reminds her that yes, she has already fed the cat today when she asks for the um-teenth time in one morning. He gives her little tasks to keep her mind active and then has to stand next to her and remind her where the silverware is located.
More than 60% of caregivers report high levels of stress and 33% are thought to be depressed. My father fights this statistic by staying active in his passions, horses.
Through the years I've watched how my Nana transitioned from running a household, decorating with a designer's eye for details, and cooking gourmet meals, to simply following instructions like a 4 or 5 year old. Asking child-like questions and then asking them again, because her brain cannot recall the answer just given. 
It is a disease that is incomprehensible until you are face to face with it and even then, it's horrifying at first and sobering at the least. I pray that you or your loved ones never know this disease. 
My dream is for a cure. My hope is for relief of care givers. And, the reality is ... all I can do is what I'm doing... education and awareness. Find out how you can reduce your own risk of the disease, this forgetting disease. You can donate to my local chapter and help son # 1 reach his goal of $5000 by September. And, at the least, help me spread the word, so we can find a cure. Now. Tomorrow. Some day, so our kids can talk about how we beat this thing, this monster. Let's do it. Let's end it.


Nana and Drew, on a walk
Thank you to to my amazing yoga students from January to now, we raised $320. It's not a lot, but then again, it IS a lot. One step, one day at at time.


Houston, join us: 
Tuesdays in the park
Wednesdays at Luke's Locker 


In Service, 


Mel

3 comments:

  1. Great post Melissa. My grandmother died of Alzheimers a few years ago. So sad and so difficult for the caregivers. God bless your dad.

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  2. Melissa .....that is a very sweet and thoughtful piece on Alz in your blog....what you are doing is really great....love you too....Dad

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