Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spotlight: Katelyn Cavanna-Dunham

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) 

“I’m going to wet myself!” Classic Nana. Every time she got the giggles – which was a lot – she would always say she was going to have an accident from laughing too hard.

My Nana, Cathleen “Cass” Keating was one of the funniest, kindest and smartest women I ever knew. She was tough-as-nails, but also the sweetest grandmother a kid could ask for. Her and my PopPop had a storybook romance.  Even the biggest of cynics could see it, as they would take impromptu twirls around the kitchen while cooking dinner.  Watching Cass lose herself to Alzheimer’s was extremely painful for my family, especially for PopPop. We lost him a year after she passed away. He was literally heart broken.

When I close my eyes and think of my Nana the first memories are always of her being sick. I picture the fear in her eyes and it breaks my heart. I can dig deeper and find the happy memories, but the fact
that I have to dig? That’s why I’m running the marathon for the Alzheimer’s Association. Any disease that takes a loved one away from you is awful. But Alzheimer’s does it while that person is still here,
it makes you watch it and I want to stop it. I'm running every one of these 26 miles to help prevent another beautiful light like my Nana’s from fading too early.

I’m still a newbie to running with only the NYC Half Marathon and the DC Cherry Blossom 10 Mile under my belt, but I’m excited (and a little scared) to take on this challenge. I always said if I ever ran a
marathon it would have to be in this gorgeous city and for an amazing cause. It all came together this year.

Last week while on vacation in Nana and PopPop’s home, now our “beach house,” I was surrounded by my family and laughing so hard that I quoted Nana. It only made us laugh harder. And it brought back an
amazing memory. I’ve only been on this team for a month, but already it has allowed me to remember my Nana, not her sickness. I thank you all for that! Thank you for sharing your stories and for inspiring me
to keep running and keep remembering. I cannot wait to cross the finish line with all of you!

No comments:

Post a Comment