When I decided to walk for Alzheimer, I knew two people who were directly affected by Alzheimer. In both instances their mother had Alzheimer.
3 things which have been a reality check for me :
1 ) People I didn’t know before sending me DM’s on Twitter or private messages on Facebook, telling me about someone in their family who has just found out that they have Alzheimer or has been living with it for some time. Private stories people share with me. I can tell you one thing, it is touching every single time.
2) People I know, people I follow on twitter and who follow me back. Shit, there are lot’s who send me DMs telling me they sponsor me because they are directly affected by Alzheimer. I didn’t know that before, because this is not something which just comes up in a tweet or in a general conversation. But man – oh boy oh boy – there are more people who are affected in my TL than I thought. That is scary shit.
“Sorry I decided to let my heart speak tonight, and my heart uses swearwords”
3) At #truamsterdam I had the chance to tell people why I chose Alzheimer and what I was going to do. It is a fact that 1 in 5 people will get dementia, with Alzheimer being the most common form. To make a point, I started counting 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5… then reality hits you. Count when you are in a room with 40 people, it really hits home. 1 in 5 !!
That’s a reality check.
My grandma has a form of dementia. Every time I call (she now had a stroke as well, so I can’t talk on the phone) or when I see her ( which is not that often as she lives in Austria), she asks me the same things:
Where do you live now? ( for the past 7 years the answer is Amsterdam)
What do you do?
Are you married already?
Where do you live?
But she recognises me (after a split second, because she needs some time). To a parent, a husband or a wife or a grandmother or anybody else who has been close to you all your life and they don’t recognise you, that is a freakin scary thought.
It scares the shit out of me. People, let’s get this Alzheimer Research going. Let’s please, please work on this. Because I hope, I really hope by the time I am old enough (dementia at a young age, can begin as young as 40!) we have found some sort of cure, prolonging quality of life before the shit hits the fan.
Let’s get it going!