Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Motivational Monday – Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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For the second year in a row I am all signed up and ready to Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  This year I will be participating in the Monterey, CA walk on September 26, 2015.

As many of you may know my mother was diagnosed with early onset a few years back.  To read more about our journey click here.  Alzheimer’s changed my parents and my family’s world.  As devastating and heartbreaking as this disease is we were lucky to find a wonderful Alzheimer’s specialized nursing home unit close to my parents home when we were no longer able to care for her at home.  But what would be even better?  A Cure!

Did you know? 

With a donation, you can help the Alzheimer’s Association® continue to provide care and support to the more than five million Americans with Alzheimer’s and their over 15 million caregivers. Your generosity would also help to advance the research that will one day lead us to methods of prevention, treatment and, ultimately, a cure for the disease. Every dollar counts in this fight.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death, and affects millions of people daily.

The Alzheimer’s Association® is committed to accelerating the global effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease and is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research.

So where is the motivation in the motivational monday you might ask?

Well the motivation needs to come from both you and I.  Would you consider donating or even walking in your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  I walk for my mom, my family and all those affected by this disease.  Together we can help provide the funds needed to make a difference today and look forward to a cure tomorrow!


Click here to donate:

Darlena’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s 

Fundraising Page


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MY Run/Walk for Alzheimer’s Challenge Completed!

Run/Walk Challenge Recap:

As many of you may know I recently participated in raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.  I also created a Run/Walk Challenge – Team of One (that would be me) to help bring awareness and raise funds in honor of my Mother.

I think Alzheimer’s sometimes feels like the forgotten disease.  Here is a great quote from Seth Rogan who is a huge supporter in the fight to end Alzheimer’s:

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I had looked around for a local half marathon that had the Alzheimer’s Association as one of its race charities, but was unable to find one.  However I was pretty determined to run a half for Alzheimer’s.  Since I couldn’t find one locally, with Alzheimer’s Association as an official charity, I decided to create a challenge of my own.  Thus was born the Miles for Memories Run/Walk Challenge.   Hey sometimes you just have to pave your own road right?!

I was lucky enough to find a local half marathon happening just one week before my local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  So why run a half marathon when I could just as easily participate in only my local walk?  Well my goal was to give people a greater awareness of the disease and a greater incentive to give.

For my family Alzheimer’s disease is personal.  I have watched my maternal grandmother, my husband’s maternal grandmother and now my Mom suffer from the disease. In the past year we have seen a dramatic change in my Mom. And since May it has been more like a nose dive.  In March my beautiful mother was barely sleeping and walking nearly 20 hours a day (no I am not kidding, it can be part of the disease).  She did not know who most of us where on most days but was still able to feed herself, and dress and shower with assistance.  Even though she could not be left alone she still was at home and well cared for.  By Mother’s day weekend in May she was wheelchair bound, unable to walk, unable to feed herself, unable to talk and in the hospital.  I was blessed to spend mother’s day with her but it was nothing less than heart breaking.  My mother now resides in a wonderful Alzheimer’s Care Center.

I live far enough away from my parents that I am not able to see her as much as I would love to, but I couldn’t stand the thought of doing nothing at all.  With the help of my family and some wonderful friends I set out to raise as much as I could for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in her honor.  My hope was to raise at least $500 with a bigger goal of $1000.  As of race day I am excited to say that with the help of my friends and family we raised $1495.00!!

Half Marathon:

I completed the run part of my challenge at the Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, VA on October 5th.  By far my most meaningful half marathon ever!  In fact I was not only able to run for my Mom but for 16 other mothers, fathers and loved ones of friends, families and even strangers.  Each ribbon on my shirt represented a specific person.  It was a huge honor for me.


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The next weekend I participated in my local Walk to End Alzheimer’s  at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach.  Both the courses for the half marathon and walk included ocean views which my mother would have just loved!  My parents are especially fond of the ocean.  I grew up taking vacations camping at the beach in CT and my Dad still owns a boat that my parents spent many, many weekends on.

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to support my challenge by either donations or prayers.  Because of you all it was a huge success!  Here are some pictures from my local walk.

My local Walk to End Alz.

My local Walk to End Alz.

The man in the lower left picture is the CEO for our local Alzheimer’s Association.  A wonderful guy who waited at the finish line to personally thank each and every walker for their support and participation.  Lower right picture is Sean who also works for my local Alzheimer’s Association.  Sean was able to answer my thousands of questions regarding fundraising.  It was a pleasure to meet them both in person at the walk and to thank them in person for all they do.

So Run/Walk Challenge Complete!  It always surprises me when donations and support come from the most unexpected places and people.  I thank all my friends, virtual friends, family and my Mom’s former co-workers for going out of your way to help me make the challenge a success!  God Bless you all.

Did you know there may be a walk in your area too?  

Click here to find out if there is a local walk in your city.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s