Purple with a Purpose

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Alzheimer's Walk Family Photo

Blue is an important color to me because it represents the fight against diabetes. But others close to me probably know that purple is another color that is just as significant.

Purple is the color of the Alzheimer’s Association. A week ago, my family and I proudly donned purple and participated in our fourth consecutive Walk to End Alzheimer’s in my grandmother’s memory.

On the day of the Walk, I was reminded of how powerful it is when I saw just how many people were there – well over 1,000! Each person was there as either a caregiver, loved one, or a supporter of an individual affected by Alzheimer’s. Despite it being fairly early on a Sunday morning, spirits were high as everyone reflected on the reasons why they were there. There was an amazing sense of community, much like the diabetes one, as we listened to other people’s stories.

The most beautiful part happened during the pre-Walk ceremony. Each participant got to design a flower pinwheel however they saw fit. When prompted, we would lift them in the air and have a moment of silence to remember our loved ones. My family’s team name is Mary’s Little Lambs, named after my grandmother. It was quite a sight to gaze at our little group’s flowers, adorned with messages of love for Grammy, spin in the wind and catch the light of the sun.

It almost felt like she (and my Grandpa) was with us as we set on our walk. The day was bright and warm, without a trace of humidity. As we walked the three miles, my family joked around and sang silly songs to keep our energy up. It’s been indescribably difficult to deal with losing a family member to Alzheimer’s, and it was also our first Walk without my Grandpa around. Instead of dwelling on our sadness, we were able to make it a positive experience and honor Grammy (as well as Grandpa!) by participating in an event that truly makes a difference.

This Walk is a reminder to me that you don’t have to be a bystander when it comes to something like Alzheimer’s or diabetes. You can make the easy and often fun choice to play an active role and support a cause you believe in. Whether it’s through writing a blog like this, having a bake sale fundraiser, or simply talking to others about your cause, you can join a fight to find a cure for these diseases.

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