Where I Beg for Money...For Muzzy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This was my grandmother, Muzzy, on our wedding day.

I normally wouldn't use my blog for something like this, but the Alzheimer's Association has a special place in my heart because our family has been directly touched by this horrible disease through the loss of my grandmother. Most of the readers of our blog didn't know Muzzy, and maybe even don't know our family, so I know how easy it is to pass over something like this. I normally would do the same thing. I would brush it off and think that someone else will donate money, or that my $20 won't make a difference and go on about my day. Ever since I saw what Alzheimer's does to a family, I couldn't ignore it anymore.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

I don't know if or how much the little bit of money that Wes and I have raised over the past few years will help, but it's not going to hurt and I only want to top what we were able to raise the previous year. This year, my goal is $200, and I'm almost half way there.

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.

When Muzzy passed away, she suffered from Alzheimer's and despite all of the other complications that she had, this was certainly one that stood out. On good days, she was almost the Muzzy that we knew and remembered while we were growing up. On bad days, she couldn't tell you what your name was, or whose baby that was that visited her earlier that day, or if you were married or not, even though she was a part of your wedding. I choose not to remember much about those days, but at the same time, I'm scared that I'm starting to forget about the good days.

One in eight people aged 65 and older (13 percent) has Alzheimer’s disease.

It kills me to think that my babies will never know Muzzy. It kills me to think that my babies will never know the love that Muzzy gave. She was such an incredible part of my life, and still is. There isn't a doubt in my mind, that Muzzy has been my guardian angel since the day she passed away.

Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 66 percent between 2000 and 2008, while deaths from other major diseases, including the number one cause of death (heart disease), decreased.

It wasn't just hard to see what was happening to Muzzy, but to my parents who were on the front line of the disease. It was hard to see the pain on my big brother's faces after a visit, or when going to Muzzy's house when she wasn't there. It was hard to see the pain on my sister-in-laws face because she was just as much of a grand-daughter to Muzzy as I was. It was hard to see the pain on my nieces faces who didn't understand what was happening to their Muzzy. My parents especially amazed me in their strength and their compassion and their willingness to give more than they even thought they could. It was hard enough to sit with your grandmother when you knew she didn't know who you were, but I can't even imagine what that must have been like for her sons. 

Two-thirds of those with the disease – 3.4 million – are women.

Muzzy was one of the strongest people I know. She once fell down her basement steps and shattered her hip and pelvis. Despite the incredible amount of pain that she must have been in, she pulled herself back up the steps using only her arms and pulled herself to a phone to call my father. It took her hours we think. The night she passed away we were with her by her side, and she refused to give in until she knew her boys went home. She passed away only a few minutes after we left.

Another American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 69 seconds.

I know this will be hard to read for a lot of my family members who lived this and who still miss Muzzy with all of our hearts. Making a donation to the Alzheimer's Association unfortunately can't help Muzzy, but it can help other family members who may eventually have this horrible disease. It may help your grandmother, or your friend's grandmother, or your parents, or you children.

In 2050, an American will develop the disease every 33 seconds.

It's not much, but I donated as well in Muzzy's name. Not for me, but for my babies, in the hopes that should I ever be affected by this horrible disease, they won't have to go through what my parents did.

If you would like to donate, please visit http://walktoendalz.kintera.org/baltimore/lauraodom.

Thank you. With all my heart.

All Facts & Figures were taken from the Alzheimer's Association

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