Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spotlight: Angela DiGaetano

Each week we will be picking a few members to spotlight to tell their Alzheimer's story and why they are running in this year's ING New York City Marathon. Check in each day or week for new updates on the highlighted members. This is a great way to get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random).

When I was a little girl, my Grandfather used to spend the first month of summer preparing the lake for little girls who didn't like weeds. He would endlessly rake each and every "yucky" piece of seaweed from the bottom of the lake where his house was built. My sister and I would arrive; the trampoline would be set up, the lawn mowed, beds crisply made, Grandpa's boat glimmering in the sun, cookies baked, and Grandpa's arms outstretched to greet us. He was loud, generous, FUNNY, lovable, active, stubborn, great man. When we went to the rare dinner out at a restaurant, he would always ask us girls to be his "dates." My sister and I would kindly oblige and relish in feeling like the special ones at the table.

He would stay up late with us and play card games; and moan and groan when we won. He took us to watch him play his clarinet for his "Big Band" and we danced along proudly. He played "Tea for Two" and we would listen as if the song was in another language.

He was a wonderful Grandfather; savoring his role and sharing his joy.

He got Alzheimer's and it killed him within a few short years.

That's why I am running. Because it just isn't fair to miss out on so much. So at mile 23 I plan to say to myself, "This hurts. But not as much as it hurts to die too soon."

Above is Grandpa holding my Dad as a baby. The smile never changed.

GO BIG OR GO HOME! Let's find a cure.

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