Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SPOTLIGHT: Sean Phelps

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 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for new updates on who will be spotlighted and get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random)

When I was asked to do the spotlight it was something I was never really interested in doing as I am not an open person. But then I started reading others' spotlight stories. Seeing how courageous others were in telling their very personal stories made me wonder how could I not share mine?

Alzheimer's has become a very scary disease for me personally. In my family, we have always had a history of heart related issues. However, with something like that you can help prevent it with diet and exercise. Alzheimer's is something totally different. On my father's side of the family there has been four cases of Alzheimer's - 3 aunts and 1 uncle. My uncle has since passed away.

My own father has had other health issues that has diminished some of his memory abilities but I fear Alzheimer's could be playing a factor. The doctors have not officially diagnosed him with it...yet.

A little over a year ago, my daughter was born. My Dad was there the day of the birth and has had numerous visits with her since. She brings such joy to his life and he lights up just even talking about her. I would never want him to be unable to recall these precious memories.

Seeing how Alzheimer's affects your family makes me want to do everything in my power to help prevent it before another family member. As a father I would not want to pass on a gene that could be detrimental to my child. Alzheimer’s has a multitude of effects on family, I have seen how it can bring my family together to provide the best care possible. Unfortunately, I have also seen how those suffering with Alzheimer's can be taken advantage of.

I have to thank Meghann and Chuck who got me into running over the past few years. They convinced me to apply to run with Team 2 Remember and train for my first Marathon. I am glad I did. I have met many inspiring people in the group which helps keeps me motivated when the running gets tough. I am proud to be a part of a team that has demonstrated hard work and dedication to help find a cure for this disease. I look forward to completing my first marathon for a cause I truly believe in.

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