Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's Disease and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. These numbers are just that, numbers, until you know someone who suffers from Alzheimer's. For me that person is my Nana. A woman about who the Raleigh News and Observer once said, "While Bosses Come and Go, She Stays in Charge," Helen Dowdy served the Department of Community Colleges for thirty years before going on to become the Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees. She became the model of associations up and down the east coast. Upon retirement from NCACCT in 2005 Helen was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's most prestigious honor, by Governor Mike Easley.
Sadly, what many did not know was that her memory had begun to fail her. It had become increasingly difficult for her to remember things that happened from day to day. Within a few years she was unable to navigate the town that she had lived in for most of her life. Today only her long-term memory remains. I fear the day when that disappears too.
To honor my Nana I am walking in the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer's. I invite you to join my team, Team Nana, and walk with us in person or in spirit. If you prefer not to walk consider making a donation. Your support helps fund research that could delay the day when long-term memories are lost. If not for my Nana, for millions of others.
Help celebrate Nana's 84th birthday today. Visit our team page to join our team, or to make a donation. Walk for my Nana, your Nana, and the millions of other Nanas who are affected by this terrible disease.
Thank you for your support.