Friday, October 2, 2009


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: Jason Madden

I was originally inspired to run the ING NYC 2009 Marathon by my girlfriend, Tricia Amy. Her involvement with the Junior Committee and her recollection of her experience with her mother are both impressive and touching. As we began our training early in the summer, it was daily runs with Tricia that made the training fun and sustainable.

As the training process progressed, I became reacquainted with the memory of my grandmother, Regina McCormack Ormond. She had passed away while I was still very young. My memory of her was when she was in the late stages of the disease, and I never knew her without the disease. In fact, I recall very vividly on one occasion trying to get her attention, but she did not even seem to be aware that I was in her presence. I must have been about 5 years old (given the timing of her passing), and I remember asking my mother why grandma didn't want to respond to me. It was very confusing, to be honest.

So I now have two reasons to train for and complete the marathon. I know that Tricia has posted her blog, but I think it would be appropriate to provide some background information on my grandmother (care of my mother and her two sisters):

Regina McCormack was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 20, 1901. She was the only daughter to Catherine and John McCormack, a Captain in the New York City Fire Department. Her mother died when she was 14 years old and she was raised by her father. Regina went on to become a New York City school teacher.

In 1939 she married James Ormond a New York City Fireman. Together they raised six children. In 1950 Regina returned to teaching and taught at PS 222 in Brooklyn, New York until 1966. Shortly after her retirement she was diagnosed with Alzheimers. She remained at home and lived with her husband and youngest daughter until 1971. In September, 1971 she went to live at Frances Schervier Nursing Home in Riverdale, New York where she lived until she died on January 8, 1979.

Regina was a very kind and caring woman. There are many a story of the people she helped and encouraged to finish their education. She was adamant about her own children going to college and graduating and worked to make sure they all had the best education available to them at the time. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to sit and visit with her children.

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