The Longest Day

Today is the first day of summer.  It is also the longest day of the year when the sun is out the longest.  The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to do something special during this day to raise awareness.  I’ve decided to do something a little fun throughout the day.

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Today, on my Instagram, I will be sending out a story every hour from sunrise to sundown (approximately 6:30 to 8:30).  I will be sharing information about Alzheimer’s disease, some from my personal life and some statistical information.  So check me out @katyslifestory on Instagram.

If you would like to give a donation to support funding for Alzheimer research and advocacy, one way you can do that is by giving to our team as we walk in our eighth Alzheimer Walk this year in September.  The link to that is below!  Thanks!

Link to Our Team Page!

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Alzheimer Kick Off Party

This past Sunday, I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart in the Colony for the Alzheimer Team Captain Kick-off Party.20170604_171341

Each of the team captains received a goodie bag filled with water bottles, a phone fanny pack, and pamphlets on recruiting and fundraising tips.

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After signing in, we gathered in this small area with other teams.  I met a lovely nurse from one of the local care facilities.  She has been involved with the Alzheimer walks for over 20 years.  We talked about patient care, and I could tell she was so passionate about the people she has cared for.  I am so thankful for our conversation.

A local Tex-Mex restaurant donated food and drinks for the party.  We had eaten there before, so we knew it was going to be delicious!  After everyone settled, Tara Longley, the Northwest Regional Director, talked about how much was already in place for the walk in September.  Big named companies, like Edward Jones and Denbury, are sending several teams to walk this year.  I was able to talk to her personally, and she said that the hope is to outgrow our present location to an even bigger one in 2018.  And it looks like we are on track to do that.

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We also talked about the successes of last year.  Those who have been team captains for five years or longer received a journal.  The longest running team captain received a duffle bag, and the shortest one received a piggy bank.

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Being in a room with so many people who have a passion for finding the cure to this horrible disease was both uplifting and heartwarming.  This will be our eighth walk this year, in honor of my great-grandmother, Zorie, and Michael’s dad.  If you would like to donate to the walk this year, you can do so at the link below.  Together, we can fund for more advocacy for caregivers and research to find the cure to Alzheimer’s!

Weekend Recap: The Walk

This weekend, Michael and I walked at the Alzheimer Walk in The Colony, TX.  We have been doing this now for seven years.  I talked about it more in this post.

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One of Michael’s coworkers and her boyfriend also came, but we didn’t grab a picture of them.  However, it was wonderful to get to walk with them as well as get to know them better.

There was an amazing turnout.  It’s so uplifting to be surrounded by people who have had similar experiences.

And on a personal note, there are so many other people who bring their dogs as well!  We haven’t taken Jerzee with us to every walk, but we did this year, and she was so well-behaved.  I was one proud fur-momma.

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If you wanted to give to our team but weren’t able to, you can still donate until December 31st!  We want to thank everyone who has already donated.  We managed to surpass our goal which was incredibly awesome!  We know that the money will go towards research to find a cure for this horrible disease.  Thank you so much for all of your support!

The Walk

My first exposure to Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia was when I was 14 years old.  My summer job that year was to walk to my great aunt’s house and take care of my great grandmother, Zorie for a couple of hours during the day.  We would walk together down the block and eat lunch together.  I would play the piano for her.

But she had no idea who I was.  She was still kind, still excited to see me.  She had her good days and her bad days, but I treasured every moment I spent with her.

After Michael’s dad was diagnosed with dementia, I knew that the road ahead was going to be hard.  I am proud of my mother-in-law.  She has been an incredibly loving caretaker to him.  It’s difficult to watch the disease progress over the years.

In 2010, I saw a commercial promoting the Alzheimer Walk for that November by the Alzheimer’s Association.  I thought this would be a great way for us to support Michael’s dad, honor my great grandmother, and find encouragement as well.  So, we signed up and headed to the Dallas Zoo for our first walk.

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Over the years, the locations have changed.  We have walked through Fair Park in Dallas, through Downtown McKinney and Downtown Frisco.  But the walk remains one of the greatest experiences we have each year.  We connect with people who are walking the same journey we are.

We were even blessed to have Michael’s family come down during different years, as well as friends here walk with us

Last year, the whole family was able to be here to participate together.

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This year will be our seventh year to walk.  Every year we raise money to help aid the research into finding a cure for this disease.  This year’s goal is $500, and my personal goal is $200.  There are three ways you can personally help us reach our goal.  First, you can give what you can.  Whether it’s $5 or $50, please consider giving to this cause and helping to find a cure to this awful disease.  Second, Share our link below or this blog post with family or friends who might be able to support us this year.  And finally, you can pray or send happy thoughts. While the Alzheimer Walk is a relatively easy one, the journey of this disease is tough. Remember us in your daily thoughts and prayers as we battle this disease together as a family.

If you would like to donate toward our goal, here’s the link.  http://act.alz.org/goto/VendettiTeam

Happy Birthday DIL (aka Dad-In-Law)

It is this guy’s birthday!

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My father in law is an amazingly sweet man.  He is kind, funny, caring, and a servant heart, all traits that he passed on to my husband.  I’m so glad to know him and be a part of his family.

In last week’s post, I started a little fundraising campaign for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my father in law’s birthday, who was diagnosed with dementia at a young age.  I just wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who have given money to our team this year already, especially during this past week.  Thank you for donating time and words.  Thank you for sharing my posts.  Thank you for sending me messages.  I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Each year, we lose a little bit more of him as his memories fade.  There are days he doesn’t even know Michael.  He introduces himself to me every time we visit.  But even as his memories fade, his faith doesn’t.  He loves God.  And that faith in the midst of chaos really inspires me.

If you haven’t donated yet, and want to, there is still time!  We are raising money through the end of September.  Just click through to the link below and follow the easy step process to donate your tax deductible contribution.  If you are unable to donate at this time, please keep this Walk and the people involved in your prayers.  This walk is easy, but the journey is hard.

http://act.alz.org/goto/Katy_Vendetti

Thank you again, so much for your support and encouraging words.  And happy birthday to my amazing and inspirational Dad-in-Law!

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Three Ways to Help in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

At the end of September, we will be participating in the Alzheimer Walk.  This is our sixth year participating in the Walk.  We started participating after Michael’s father was diagnosed with Dementia, which falls under the Alzheimer umbrella.  My great-grandmother also had Dementia, which eventually evolved into Alzheimer’s disease.  I took care of her when I was 14, so we walk in honor of her and Michael’s dad.

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The walk is such an uplifting experience.  People from all over the community who have been affected by this disease support each other as we walk together.  Michael’s parents have been able to come down to walk with us for the past couple of years.  It so special for them to come down and feel the support from the community.  This year, the entire family is coming down in support of Michael’s dad, so we want to make it a special year of fundraising.

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Next Monday is Michael’s dad’s birthday.  In honor of that, I want to run a fundraising campaign for the walk this week, starting today and ending on his birthday next week.  Our team’s goal is to raise $2000 dollars this year, and my personal goal is to raise $400 this year.  Here are the ways you can help:

  1. Give what you can. Whether it’s $5 or $50, please consider giving to this cause and helping to find a cure to this awful disease.  You can make donations to my personal page here: http://act.alz.org/goto/Katy_Vendetti
  2. Share our link. Share the link to our team page with family or friends who might be able to support us this year: http://act.alz.org/goto/Vendetti
  3. Pray or send happy thoughts. While the Alzheimer walk is a relatively easy one, the journey of this disease is tough.  Remember us in your daily thoughts and prayers as we battle this disease together as a family, and leave us a comment below or on the team page.

Alzheimer Walk 2013

Despite my rough start to this week, I had a wonderful weekend, which started with a visit from my MIL and DIL (Mom in law and Dad in law).  This visit was for a particular purpose, which was to walk in the annual Alzheimer’s Association walk, which I mentioned a couple weeks ago.

We headed over to Downtown where the walk was held for the second year in a row (though we have been doing it for four years now).  This year was a little different because we invited our small group to walk with us.  I mentioned this lovely group in a previous post as well, but it still amazes me how much support and love emanates from this group despite how short of a time we have spent with them.

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It wasn’t just our group that made an impact on my heart that day.  This year, they gave out flowers, each representing a type of person affected by this disease – orange for advocates, purple for those who have lost someone to the disease, yellow for caregivers, and blue for those who have been diagnosed with the disease.  At the end of the opening ceremony, everyone held up their flowers, and it was absolutely uplifting and beautiful to see.

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Then, the walk began.  Our group walked together, but also walked with those around us.  There is a sense of camaraderie among strangers at this event.  We laughed, cried, talked about why we were walking.  It even started to sprinkle (it soon stopped and didn’t rain again until late that evening), but despite the humidity the quick drizzle left, we pressed on together.

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Then, I looked up to see how far Michael and his dad had gotten ahead of us (they walk a lot faster than we do).  That’s when I saw this and snapped a quick picture.  It brought tears to my eyes to see the love Michael has for his dad.  Michael has always had a caretaker’s spirit, especially when it comes to his parents, and to watch him wrap his arm around his father in this way…words just can’t express how proud I am of my husband and his relationship with his father.  I’m tearing up right now as I write this.

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We all crossed the finish line together, and then headed to Cracker Barrel for some brunch.  There, we met up with more people from our group who couldn’t make the walk, but still wanted to spend time getting to know my family.  The food was delicious.  The service was amazing.  It was a great time spent with family and friends.

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Oh, and we raised over $700 (and still counting!).  I know that people donated the day of the race, and it hasn’t been reflected yet in the numbers on our team page.  We were one of the top ten fundraisers of this walk as well!  My mother in law was just amazed at all the support from every community.  We are truly blessed, and we hope that with all the money raised, we will be closer to a cure!  Thank you for all of your support and prayers!  They were definitely felt that day!

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