Thursday, July 14, 2011

SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Munds

Each week we will be picking 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)

I am connected to the Alzheimer’s disease not by choice but by necessity. I am sure that is the case with most of us. My mother passed away in Feb 2011 from this dreaded disease. For me the passing was not the hardest part, the years leading up to the end were the most difficult to deal with. Her loss of memory was the toughest for me, not knowing who I was, asking my oldest sister who the guy out in the driveway was. I wanted to scream “Mom, it’s me, you only son, your youngest child”. But, I knew that would not help in any way. So I would just yell those things in my head, wipe away he tears and tell her that I will see her again real soon. Hoping the next time she would remember me. I realized I lost “my mother” years before she actually passed. We lost her mentally years ago, but only lost her physical presence in February. Don’t get me wrong, I miss her very much and would take just her physical presence back if I could. I have only been running for a few years and I started running to help raise funds for charity. My first charity fund raising task in 2010 was for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I have a friend who lost his wife to this disease and we decided together to run and raise money for his cause. Then in 2011 I decided to run to raise money for Alzheimer’s. This year I signed up for 13 runs, 4 full marathons and 9 half marathons. It is a challenge and it is not easy. During those days when I am not motivated, mentally not wanting to run. I just think about my Mother and tell myself that Alzheimer’s never stopped destroying her, it never quit. So I cannot quit, I cannot stop. I must keep going, keep trying, keep pushing forward. One step at a time, one dollar at a time and hopefully someday soon a cure will be found.

Running the NYC marathon was an easy decision for me. It is considered to be one of the biggest, well known marathons out there. Initially, I wanted to run in a famous run to add some flair to my fund raising. I believed that as the reader was looking through the list of runs I was planning on participating in I needed something to jump off the page to make them say WOW, I want to help. It did exactly that, a lot of conversations started off with “are you really running in the NYC Marathon”? And from there I could gradually steer the conversation from the run to the main cause, raising money for Alzheimer’s research, caregivers, etc. I am really excited about this event, I get fired up for all the other runs but this one already has me excited and anxious. This run is known worldwide and I cannot think of a better way to raise money for Alzheimer’s, other than running in one of the biggest marathons in the world.

*** Attached is a shirt I had made up for every marathon or 1/2 marathon I run in for Alzheimer's ******

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