Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Maritza Arroyo

Each week we will be picking three (3) members to spotlight to tell their alzheimer's story and why they are running in this year's New York City marathon. Check in each day or week for new updates on who will be spotlighted and get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random)

SPOTLIGHT: Maritza Arroyo

My Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer in her early 60’s. This was devastating to my family and me. I could not understand it. My mami the most generous and heart warming person in my life was being taken from me. It was very painful to see my mother exhibit states of confusion and forgetfulness from one moment to the next and my mami trying very hard not to show it. She would mask her forgetfulness by singing her favorite childhood songs. So, every time I visit my mom I sing with her. She loves it! Her eyes light up, she shakes her shoulders, moves her hips, and she does a little dance. I love that the most because for that brief moment I know my mom is happy. My father is suffering the most. I can see the sadness in my dear father’s eyes has he watches my mother become progressively worse with each passing day. Seeing this is heartbreaking.

I participated in last years memory walk with my mom and dad. I was so inspired by the wonderful people that walked and the fabulous volunteers that made us feel so welcomed. I felt as though I was home. People who understood my family’s plight were around me united as one. It was on that day, I thought it be great if the ALZ organization ran as a charity in the NYC marathon. I said to myself, I would definitely run it. I sent an email inquiring about the charity’s participation in this year’s marathon and my willingness to run. Much to my surprise, I got an email and I made the cut!

Training for the NYC Marathon has already provided a positive impact, my dad’s eyes light up! He is as excited for me as I am. The training allows me to channel my emotions from my mom to the race itself.

I am running to bring awareness to the public but mostly as a therapeutic way of handling, the devastating affects this disease. I am running in honor of my mother and father. I am grateful to be their daughter and I humbled by the generosity and support from family and friends.

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