Monday, October 13, 2014

Spotlight - Julio Perez

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 for new updates on who will be spotlighted and get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random)

Growing up with my mother in another country, my siblings and I looked to my grandmother as our mom.  She took care of all four of us plus other cousins.  My grandmother, Mamá, like we called her, was a strong, independent woman. She always woke up early for breakfast and church and was the last one to go to sleep after the day was done. After dinner or after she came back from church we would play games of Parchese everyday, she was a pro and knew all the moves before I even made them. Looking back I loved every single moment. Knowing that she had suffered from Dementia in her later years came as a shock to me because I couldn't understand how a woman so strong and full of life could become so dependent on others.

I attribute what I know about Alzheimer's and it's effects to my wife because of what her family went through with her grandfather and great grandmother. She introduced me to the Alzheimer's walk and together we have been raising funds and awareness by participating in the team. And unknowingly her mother and my mother both took care of patients with Alzheimer's and related conditions in their own line of work.
Running for me has now become more than a hobby, it is my way to stay fit, to travel the world and to share my experiences with those I love the most. I run with a lot of humbleness and appreciation knowing that this crazy idea of mine has become a way to express my gratitude and honor the memory of those who have shaped us into who we are today.
I would like to thank the association for offering all their services to those who need it and also for allowing us to run for our families.

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