Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spotlight: Anesha Buzzetta

My grandma in the red, me, my twin sisters,
my great grandmother and my mom
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 Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for new updates on who will be spotlighted and get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random) 

My family was affected by Alzheimer's when my grandma was diagnosed with the disease in 1993.  I was only 10 at the time and my parents tried to keep everything as positive as they could for me and my sisters.  She suffered for 14 years.  In the beginning stages she was able to stay home for a while but as the disease progressed and her memory got worse my parents had to place her in a nursing home with around the clock care.  To watch my grandma, who was a strong minded, feisty woman turn into someone who couldn't do anything herself and eventually couldn't even speak anymore, is one of the hardest things I have ever had to witness.  My grandma lost her battle with Alzheimer's in November 2007.

My family and I at the Alzheimer's Walk
Even harder than watching my grandma suffer with the disease was watching my mom slowly lose her mother.  When I was younger, it was scary to see my mom crying and upset and not really understand why.  Now, as an adult, I can't imagine going through that with my own mother.  I realize how strong my mom was and is but to this day my mom is not the same person she was before her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

When I met my husband I learned that his family went through a very similar situation with his grandmother who also had Alzheimer's.  Our families have been doing the Alzheimer's walk together in honor of my Grandma Mellie and his Grandma Gemma for the last few years.  And now that I have finally committed to running the NYC Marathon, there is not a better organization that I would rather run with.  I am excited to share these stories and this journey with all of you.

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