Sunday, August 2, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Sara Kershberg

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: Sara Kershberg

At the age of 17 my Mom began to show signs of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. As time progressed I watched our roles slowly switch as I turned into the caregiver and she turned into the child. I would care for my Mom during the day while my Father was at work, and would take my college courses in the evenings. As I was the oldest of three girls I began to take on the Motherly role of the home, and was forced to abandon my college social life, and mature fairly quickly. At the age of 47 my Mom became too ill to take care of in our home and required more attention and assistance. We then put her in a facility which had a separate Alzheimer’s unit. We became very close to the other patients in her Unit, and shared a strong bond with their family members. We went to visit my Mom as much as possible during her last three years which she spent at the home, but it was obvious that her health was deteriorating quickly. In May of last year my Mom passed away at the age 50.

It is amazing how much you can learn from such an experience. I learned about patience, compassion, hope, the value of life, family and knowing that you can make a significant change in someone’s life by just holding out a helping hand. After my experience I felt that I had so much knowledge about the disease and wanted to share my story with others in hopes that it could give them some kind of insight and guidance in their own situations.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to run the marathon due to a recent injury but I wanted to run to raise

money for this important cause, bring people together in memory of my Mom, and bring awareness of the disease and charity in hopes that the more people we have involved in the cause, the more of a chance we have to make a difference.

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