Saturday, August 8, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Pat Ostrander

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: Pat Ostrander

When people ask why I am running a marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, I usually explain my family history and attempt some sort of answer involving statistics and an acknowledgement of how crazy I must be to consider running that far. But what I should really say is that I simply hate Alzheimer’s. I think of it as a blatant and unremorseful thief that has already stolen from me and may return again to show me that it can steal from anyone at any time. I know that running won’t allow me to catch this particular thief but I like to imagine that I am at least tailing it enough to make it nervous.

I don’t remember my great-grandmother because she was in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s from before I was born. But I’m still angry that Alzheimer’s stole my grandmother in 2007. She had a green thumb and was a great cook. Unfortunately

for my cousins who hated them, my grandmother grew beets in her garden and cooked them just for me because I loved them. She also made my favorite molasses cookies whenever I would visit.

Towards the beginning of her illness, she made me a batch of those molasses cookies and gave me a box full to take back to college with me. Then she forgot that she had given them to me and gave me another box. It was a bittersweet moment. I loved those cookies and was grateful for their abundance but I knew she would likely never be able to make them again.

I’m running because I don’t know what else to do, because I don’t want Alzheimer’s to steal anyone else from me, and because I don’t want any other grandchildren to have to miss out on any of grandma’s cookies.

Follow Pat's Blog HERE!

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