51 years old and the scales read 272 lbs. That was in March of 2001. Going to the mailbox and back was tough.
Fast forward to January of 2013, now 62 years old and tipping the scales around 155 lbs. Ran, jogged and walked 2,594 miles in seven months and nine days. The jogging stroller carried equipment and supplies.
The help and encouragement from family and friends never wavered.
Why? Not sure, but feeling a little more enlightened lately. It concerns “what has Across the Land really accomplished.” It’s about the word awareness.
How many times have I used the words “I raise awareness?” Probably a couple of thousand.
A young lady from Arizona recently asked me; “where do you get all of the information you share?” The answer is, it was shared to me.
Have I been thankful enough? No.
So I say this; “I am the one who’s awareness is being raised the most”
It was a lot of work for others to share and make me aware. That will not be wasted and a deep appreciation for that work will be made public many times in my future work.
The quote below is a good one for me to read often;
“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” Roy T. Bennett
I hinted earlier last week about an epiphany, the stark realization concerning awareness. Mine is the awareness that has been raised most. Thousands of people have contributed their knowledge and feelings to that end, and probably most didn’t know they were. I thought for so long I was the one raising awareness, and maybe I have a little, but the reality is clear to me now. For that I am thankful. I feel a responsibility to be productive with what you have given me.
I feel responsible to be productive with what I have been given.
The five quotes below are from the article the link at the bottom of this post will take you to.
- “I believe there is a solution”
- “Any type of treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today,”
- “the long-term goal has got to be a cure.”
- “The growing burden is pretty unbelievable”
- “Several of the men in my family have this disease. And so, you know, I’ve seen how tough it is. That’s not my sole motivation, but it certainly drew me in.”
Sanjay Gupta; “I have interviewed Gates many times over the years, in countries around the world. He was more engaged on this topic of Alzheimer’s than I’ve ever seen before.”
What do most people think about when they hear the word Alzheimer’s? Elderly folks probably, and that memories are lost. After that, most people I speak with that are not intimate with the disease, are clueless. Of course, memory loss is the tip of the iceberg and young people do get Alzheimer’s.
Most Alzheimer’s patients cannot speak for themselves, and most caregivers do not have the time.
This post isn’t to explain the intricacies of the disease, but it is meant to say we need more advocates. We need more folks that are willing to speak for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. If you would like to help, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 1.800.272.3900.
My gut says we have not stopped for even a minute. Scientists all over the world are searching for proven preventative measures and a cure. All manor of health care professionals are looking for best practices for caregivers. Advocates are staying up to date on pending laws and introducing new ones. Folks are raising awareness. Lawmakers are looking for both knowledge and money. Caregivers are doing the best they can, with what they have.
Haste makes waste.
We’re doing good and we will keep going, we always have. We have failures and success. We lose our way sometimes but we get back on track. We will get this done. That’s what we do best.
“Working for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working for something we love is called passion”
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