My name is Brittany Eckstein and I Walk to End Alzheimer’s for my Grandmother.
In 2007, when I was just 12 years old, my Grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I was old enough to know what it was, but too young to know how bad it could get.
In the beginning stages, little things would slip such as names and places. It progressively got worse and eventually got to the point where my Grandmother could not live on her own.
In 2009, she came to live with my mother and me and we took care of her for about two years. Eventually, it became too much for us to handle, so my aunt took over the caregiving.
We would go over to visit and to check up on her and I even spent an entire summer with my Aunt helping her take care of my Grandmother. It was hard to watch her not remember who I was, but deep down I knew that she would never forget me no matter how bad the disease got.
She eventually got to the point where she could no longer speak or walk and the family placed her with Hospice. She was only given a year or so to live.
I remember visiting her one day and as soon as I walked in the room she gave me the biggest smile. It had been a long time since I had seen her smile that way.
When it was time for me to leave, I gave her a hug and told her I loved her. Even though she could no longer speak, she mumbled something, and to me it sounded like “I love you.”
That’s when I knew that deep down, she still knew who I was and that she wouldn’t forget me. That moment gave me hope.
She was in Hospice for two years before she passed away.
My Grandmother was a strong fighter and continued to surprise the doctors every day. When she no longer had the strength to fight, she let go and passed in July 2015.
So, I Walk for her.
My grandmother was one of the strongest people I have ever known. She was always a fighter – before and during her fight with Alzheimer’s.
I Walk to let people know to not give up hope.
I Walk because I know one day, we will find a cure!!!
You can now register for the 2015 Walks to End Alzheimer’s!
Northern Neck – Middle Peninsula; Saturday, September 19th at Bethpage Camp Resort. Register and donate at bit.ly/NNMPWalkToEndALZ2015
Fredericksburg; Saturday, September 26th at University of Mary Washington. Register and donate at bit.ly/FredericksburgWalkToEndALZ2015
Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Saturday, November 7th at Innsbrook. Register and donate at bit.ly/RVAWalkToEndALZ2015