My view of the fight with alzheimers disease

Sometimes it seems that not many days go by without an article being written about an exciting find in the research world.

It’s hard to put a perspective or mind set to the situation. Millions have already been diagnosed and more are on the verge of diagnosis. Millions are in that place where a slowdown could change their lives.

If something could be found that could reverse alzheimers….. wow

The folks on the caregivers roles right now need help in that area.

In the past, humanity has always responded when given the resources. We find things. It can’t be done without money. It can’t be done without time. Society, it seems, will not devote time or money without being made aware.

Raising Awareness is the foundation for major change. We have to keep on making good noise.

This is real stuff, this alzheimers disease and it’s killing a lot of people. Patients need help and caregivers need help.

We can’t leave any part of society behind. We have to recognize that.

My thoughts at 7:51 pm on July 28th.

Typical day on the road with Wilson

When Wilson is fully loaded to keep me self sufficient the total weight is 65 – 70 lbs.

I push the stroller up on the road and always travel facing traffic except when it’s absolutely impossible or totally unsafe.

When I can clearly see their are no cars coming I stay on the road and run or jog. When I see cars coming my way I slow to a walk and ease onto the shoulder. If luck is with me the shoulder will be a good shoulder and I can make good time. As a general rule I walk on all shoulders. If luck is not with me the shoulder will be tall grass with holes, rocks, and other debris hidden from view or sometimes their is no shoulder, meaning
it drops to a ditch situation a few inches off of the pavement. That’s slow going. If it’s high heat I look for pockets of shade to stop in so my body can cool down. The busier the road the more I am on the shoulder. If you have a milage goal, that makes for a longer day. When I get to a tight spot such as a bridge I have to stop and access the situation thoroughly.

An important note.
It’s not only my safety I am concerned with it’s everyone that sees me. I can’t put myself in a position that startles a driver and cause someone to get hurt.

In the type of heat we are experiencing now I have to drink plenty of water. I have to eat.

If I don’t have a place to spend the night I have to keep that in mind and be ready to make that decision when necessary.

I smile most of the time and wave if it feels safe. No accidents.

If the heat becomes unbearable I will go to the door of a commercial establishment and ask to get in their a/c to cool off a little. I have never been turned down from that request.

Dogs are a problem sometimes. I use a Daser. It makes the noise that bothers them and has done an excellent job. I have to keep in mind that I can’t scare a dog from beside the road, with the Daser, into the road and cause an accident.

I watch drivers coming at me to see if they are erratic or texting and if so I head away from the road.

This post shares a little of what it’s like to be out there. I seem to enjoy it a lot.

7.27.2015 – Cherokee County

The reporter and the photographer came out early to accommodate us. We appreciate it. The Cherokee Tribune had also provided coverage when we passed through this beautiful county in 2013.

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Tyler and Ethan covered a little ground with me this morning.

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I stopped at Fire Station 22 and one of the young men said “hi Jack” That was a surprise. It turns out that he is my friend on Facebook. It was great to meet him and 3 of the other firemen.

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As I was nearing the Cherokee County Courthouse this young man wanted to know what my story was. We chatted a few minutes. It turns out that he backpacked from Springer Mountain, GA to Pennsylvania on the Appalachian Trail.

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Yep, here it is. The picture of the Cherokee County Courthouse, Wilson and I.

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Ended the day at the Georgian Hills Restaurant in downtown Canton, with Amy, Tyler, Ethan and grandma.

The temperature reached 90 degrees and the humidity was 48%. I was soaking wet from sweating.

The Cherokee Tribune is much appreciated for coming out. The 2 young ladies were awesome. The story the one on the left writes and the picture the one on the right took will raise awareness.

Let me tell you about dreams…..

Several years ago I had just finished watching Forrest Gump again. This was a couple of years before I decided to Run across America. I distinctly remember thinking “one day I will Run where Mr. Gump finished his run.”

Well guess what. I did it. Yep, I did it.

I Ran in Monument Valley, UT.

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around georgia – the part with Wilson starts tomorrow !!

I will push Wilson (stroller) out of my daughter’s driveway around 9:00 am tomorrow morning, July 27th, 2015. We will be heading to the Cherokee County Courthouse in Canton, Georgia.

I wanted to Run in Georgia to remain near my family. My mom is 87 years old. One of the Alzheimer’s Association staff members gave me the idea of running through every county in Georgia. She said I would run into a lot of folks out there that have problems because of alzheimers disease. She said tell them we care, they are not alone and to call our helpline at 1.800.272.3900 anytime.

The idea sounded good to a lot folks, including me.

I sat and thought and soon realized that every county has a county courthouse and I would use that as a reference point. I will Run from courthouse to courthouse through all 159 counties.

I will use the stroller. It will have the signs on it that say “Alzheimer’s Association” I will have cards and bracelets that have the 1-800-272-3900 phone number on them. That is the phone number for help with the Alzheimer’s Association. I will wear the brightly colored shirt that says “Alzheimer’s” on it and the ball cap. I will contact newspapers and ask them to share the story of what we are doing and have done and ask them to include the toll free helpline phone number in the story. When I Run by a radio station I will stop and ask if they will interview me on the air. I have done that many times and have never been turned down. I will contact churches and ask if they will share the helpline number with their congregation. If people start a conversation with me, I will listen and share the helpline phone number with them if it feels appropriate. Other ideas will come up along the way.

I will continue trying to learn all I can about alzheimers and the problems that arise because of it. I try not to push myself on people. I usually let people come to me and start the conversation and go from their. I don’t like being pushy. When it feels right, I always share what I think I have learned.

No goals for miles, no time limit, no push to do anything but keep myself healthy and raise awareness.

The Bobomobile (car) will stay with Ryan. It will have the signs on it. I ask him to drive it to work once a week so it will keep the battery charged and let folks know the helpline number and be reminded of the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s”

On a trip such as this, I will be able to come home upon occasion and visit with family and friends and then head back out.

I Run for the Alzheimer’s Association. I am Raising awareness of the disease that took my dad and thousands of other awesome folks all over America.

7.25.2015 blog post

I headed to Amicalola Falls early. Today would be the day to tell friends so long for awhile.

The lady in this picture worked at the park in the not to distant past. We talked about the upcoming Run.

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Mark Lein came up. We covered a few miles today. He said “ya can’t help anybody if your sick Jack. Don’t get sick”

We ran into these very fit looking folks on the stairs. I talked them into a picture.

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Mark and I ate a very healthy lunch and spoke of old times. We said our “so longs” and he headed to the house.

I ran a few more minutes near the top of the falls. I told more staff goodbye.

These folks were enjoying the park after an ultra run this morning. Some fit people run here in these mountains. These trails are ridge trails with a lot of rocks and roots. Some steep climbs here and the humidity, ahh, the humidity is a killer. These guys are Strong !

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I told the park staff I would see them sometime later. I have ground to cover and then I will return.

I told them that I would be raising awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association for a bit.

14,000 miles – a Milepost – Raising awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association

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That’s a lot of miles in 1,145 days. Its an average of 12.22 miles per day for 3.13 years. I ran some of it. I jogged some of it. I walked some of it. I pushed a jogging stroller about 4000 miles of the 14,000.

My dad died with alzheimers. I’m doing everything I know to do to help in the fight against this horrific disease.

To discount how hard it has been at times would be to take away from the reality of difficulty sometimes that both myself and many other people have encountered doing similar things as this. The more miles, I think, that you do, the more you learn and get accustomed to the hardships, but some hardships are just as real when someone is going 100 miles with so many unknowns. I am an ultra runner.

I have had so much help. I could not begin to tell how much. Its been from all over. I have learned that I have had help that I knew nothing about until much later.

I have been very persistent and consistent about getting in the mileage and advertising for the Alzheimer’s Association.

I have gained a healthy respect for others that push themselves out of their comfort zone. I have been their for over 3 years. I struggle every day, but I keep going.

I need you again my 3 wheeled buddy

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You’ve seen me through almost 3 years. You were with me in extreme heat, electrical storms, hail, bone chilling cold, sleet, snow, high winds and rain.

Your load has been to heavy many times.

I know it has not been smooth sailing Wilson.

You have been packed away for long periods of time but when I pull on that handle you spring into action and you’re ready to go again.

Well, now I am asking you to help me again Wilson. It is a Noble cause indeed.

We gotta tell caregivers that a lot of people care, that they are not alone and that real, tangible help is available from the Alzheimer’s Association.

From the National Institute on Aging

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can have high physical, emotional, and financial costs. The demands of day-to-day care, changes in family roles, and decisions about placement in a care facility can be difficult. There are several evidence-based approaches and programs that can help, and researchers are continuing to look for new and better ways to support caregivers.

The paragraph below is not from the National Institute on Aging.

Please, think about the people you know. If you remember hearing them speak of alzheimers disease, tell them about the Alzheimer’s Association helpline. 1.800.272.3900 anytime. The call will be answered by a trained counselor for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Information about the Promise Garden on Walk Day

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Blue represents someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia

Purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease.

Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Orange is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

Contact the Alzheimer’s Association at http://www.alz.org for information about getting involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.