Friday, August 14, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Natalie Harrison

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: Natalie Harrison

Growing up my younger brother and I often looked forward to going down to Florida to visit our grandparents. But, at the age of 13, my grandparents moved from Florida to my hometown after my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As time progressed, my grandmother had a hard time remembering who we were and often seemed to be disoriented and scared.

After a few years, my grandmother required more attention and assistance and was moved into a special memory-impaired unit. This was the first time my grandparents had ever been apart for any extended amount of time since they were 17 years old. It was definitely heartbreaking to see the effects on my grandfather. He passed away a few years later. One of the hardest parts of his death was that my grandmother was unable to remember that she had even been married.

In the years that followed, my mother would spend time with my grandmother every day until she passed away in October of 2003. Watching my Mother, I have definitely learned a lot about the importance of patience, love, hope and family. I am running the NYC Marathon in honor of my grandmother’s memory and in the hope that one day we can find a cure for this disease.

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