This was the second year that Mike and I walked in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. We are lucky enough to walk with a fantastic group of friends on Team Good. Our team was organized by Kathy Good who's husband, Dave, was a judge here in Cedar Rapids. Dave could always be recognized by the bow ties he wore when he was on the bench. This admirable man began his battle with Alzheimer's while still in his early fifties. As a nod to his courage and sense of style the tee shirts our team members wear all sport various patterns of bow ties. We were especially proud this year that our team was 200 members strong and that there were over 800 walkers in Cedar Rapids.
This year we even got some of our kids involved. Thanks for participating Page, Kate, Liz, and Theo and thanks Liz for these pictures since I camera fouled for this event.
Last September when we walked my dad was suffering with Alzheimer's. Our family knows first hand the devastating effects and the emotional and financial tolls of this insidious disease. I never dreamed when we participated in this event last year that Dad would only be with us a few more short weeks. My dad had been diagnosed about five years earlier and was classified as being in the middle stages. Because many Alzheimer's patients live a long time with this disease the costs associated with Alzheimer's can be disastrous for so many families. With our country's aging population it is imperative that we get congressional funding for more research or the impact on our economy for the long-term care of Alzheimer's patients will be crippling.
We lost Dad in October after a fall and these flags bearing his name were very special to me. It makes me feel good to know he has not been forgotten. We marched this year for Dad but also for the numbers of people and the loved ones that care for them that continue to fight this battle on a daily basis.
Thank you to all that gave so generously, thank you Kathy Good for your tireless support for this cause, and thank you to the thousands and thousands of walkers that participated nationwide.
Please contact your local Alzheimer's Association for information on a Memory Walk in your area. If you live near Cedar Rapids we would love to have you lace up your walking shoes and join us next year as we walk in the 2010 Memory Walk to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's so that someday none of us will have to suffer or watch someone we love suffer from this heart breaking disease.