“Across the Land” has been going since June 1, 2012. The project was designed to raise awareness concerning alzheimer’s disease and raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association.
I am grateful for the help. I would not have been involved in the project long, on my own. At every point that I felt ready to bale, folks have come forward and kept me going.
“Across the Land” has been extremely successful. Here are a few numbers to date . . . . .
- 4 years, 10 months, 23 days
- over 16,800 miles on foot
- over 20,000 miles in my car
- over $40,000.00 donated to the Alzheimer’s Association
- over 247,000 views of the blog
- the blog viewed in over 125 countries
- over 50 television interviews
- over 100 newspaper interviews
- over 20 radio interviews
- over 4000 cards and/or bracelets given to caregivers.
The miles on foot had me wearing alzheimer’s clothing. The car always wore her signs advertising the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” event and gave out the 24/7 Helpline phone number. Most of the interviews called the Alzheimer’s Association by name and gave out the 24/7 Helpline phone number. The cards and bracelets all had the 24/7 Helpline phone number on them.
We have raised a lot of awareness and a lot of money.
I’ve read or heard this formula, a few times.
168 hours in a week. 56 hours sleeping, 56 hours working, 56 hours left. 10% of the left over time is 5.6 hours per week. So, 5.6 hours a week dedicated to giving back.
I found this quote a few minutes ago. I like quotes. Sometimes they help, maybe sometimes they don’t. Anyway, here it is.
“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane
Over 46,000 folks are members of the 3 groups that I participate in. Each post is from an individual. Dementia is the common ground of the groups. Most posts are from caregivers in various stages of the part of their life, that includes dementia.
My awareness is raised as I read, not only the posts, but also the comments, to the posts.
Some comments are about family and friends that no longer call or visit.
Many of the members no longer have a personal connection to dementia, but stay around to help others.
On many occasions, I have read problems stated and solutions presented. There is a lot of knowledge spread out among these members.
we came upon each other near Seligman, Arizona, in 2013. He was close to finishing his third bicycle ride across America. He’s 27 years old now. He cried as we departed. He seemed concerned at my endeavor.
Tomorrow he loads up and is flying to a remote area in Africa to ride another 4000 miles or so.
If I remember correctly, his is the first bicycle I saw, with a belt, not a chain. I met another long distance rider in 2016 with a belt driven bike. He was 66 years old and riding Route 66.
Today, a long distance bicyclist came through Roberta. He is heading to Pueblo, Colorado.
he emailed me this morning. Things are different now. I never suspected anything bad or sad. We met in 2013. “He called himself over the hill and fat.”
He sent a picture. He lost 93 lbs.
- No surgery
- No medication
- No doctors
He said no to coming back on Facebook. Didn’t say why.
He runs 3 miles daily, 5 days a week. On the 6th day, he runs 6 miles. The 7th day, he takes off and walks.
We promised to stay in touch.
Today was his birthday. He is 61 years old.
During the time he was gone from Facebook I sent him an email one time monthly. I never missed a month.
He apologized for the abruptness of his departure. We spoke on the phone this evening.
Oh yeah, he is 5’10” tall and weighs in at 150 lbs.
Some folks say they weren’t cut out for caregiving. I’m cut out to do what is my responsibility. It may not look pretty at times, but I am here. This is my watch.
he said watching animals can teach. He saw antelope in a field. Things were great, they felt good. Life was good for them.
A mountain lion appeared.
The lion left. He had did his thing. The antelope immediately went back to enjoying life. They felt good. Life was good for them.
A call to me this morning: “My best friend stopped calling. It hurt. Being a caregiver has turned me into a complainer. Nobody wants to be near or talk with me. I finally called her yesterday. Her husband informed me, that she has cancer. It’s bad.”
This has been a process of trying something, evaluating my feelings, and going back for more. My level of acceptance is high, so I am often disappointed in my presentation. After almost 5 years of working at it, I know my approach is important to me, as an individual. That must be addressed.
I work at letting others approach me. I give them ample reason to. My car, stroller and myself can be easily spotted. Once they approach, I answer any questions or point them in the direction of a possible answer. Sometimes I then ask for permission to hand them a card or a bracelet. Either of those have the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline phone number on them.
If enough awareness is raised maybe
- more of the electorate will see the need to ask Congress for more research funding, and Congress will respond and a cure will be found.
- caregivers will know where to go for more knowledge
- family members will understand the need to help the primary caregiver
- friends of the primary caregiver will understand the need to offer help
Most folks would be amazed at the difference between the awareness level of a primary caregiver and a sibling of the primary caregiver.