Everyone has a cause that is near and dear to their hearts. And we at Simply Platinum are on a mission to make a difference in the Walk to Fight Alzheimer’s. Every year in September, we participate in the Alzheimer’s New Jersey South Regional walk and take another step to advance research to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s and provide programs and support to improve the lives of millions of affected Americans.
Three years ago, I was checking a shared email box at work and read an email about the upcoming walk. I knew I needed to not only learn more but join the walk. When I got home, I set up the team, called the family and began our tradition to walk in honor of our Yiayia.
It is very special to us because our Yiayia (grandma) Ria, passed away on December 27, 2003 from Alzheimer’s. It’s a disease that affects more than 5 million Americans and their families. Having seen what Alzheimer’s can do to a loved one is a pain that cannot be explained. Having the same conversation and answering the same questions is just one part of the disease. I remember when my grandmother was diagnosed, I was still in grade school and had no idea what Alzheimer’s was, what it would do to my Yiayia and how it would affect our family.
As years passed, we watched her not only grow old but forget the woman she was. One thing is for sure, we never forget. We remember how she always took care of everyone, made us laugh because she only spoke Greek but knew exactly what was happening every day on General Hospital, offered SunnyD and those little pillow candies, cooked exceptionally and most importantly how she kept our family together. I remember that she was the one who taught me how to shuffle a deck of cards, that we loved watching the Little Mermaid in Greek and that she watched my brother and I while my parents worked. As I got older, I also remembered how she would watch us but we would really be the ones watching her because we couldn’t leave her alone.
She changed before our eyes and all we could do was love her even when she couldn’t remember us. This is why we walk. We walk to remember our Yiayia, the woman who made a life for our family, the woman who loved everyone and the woman who still watches over us.
You can make a difference by donating or walking with our team, Simply Yiayia or even starting your own team to raise awareness and funds for a disease that affects millions of us. https://alznj.akaraisin.com/Walk2017/SimplyYiayia
Thank you for hearing my story! Can’t wait to walk again on September 23rd!