You are a climber. Your love of mountaineering whether that small hill beside your house or K2 occupies a large part of your life. So why should you care about Alzheimer’s.
In one word: Memories.
I want to make the case, briefly, why you should make a donation to one of the Alzheimer’s nonprofits participating in The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything.
As I prepared for my 2008 climb of Everest, Ida, my mom, was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. I had told her of my plans and in character she asked why I wanted to do something so silly. Even in her advanced state, she had a grasp on reality!
Every conversation thereafter started with “So, how was your climb? You’re back!” I gently remind her I would not leave for another few weeks. “Yes, of course.” She would reply with that smile and simple laugh.
Standing at 27,500′ on Everest, I thought of my mom. The view was magnificent – a memory forever etched in my mind. Or was it?
Each of us climbers have had that moment when we just stand still and get that 1000 mile stare. We are in awe of our surroundings, proud of our effort, appreciative of the opportunity.
Alzheimer’s steals memories and takes lives. There is no cure, no reliable means of early detection and the ments only delay the inevitable. Yet there is hope with research and the need to help family caregivers.
As a climber you can help with a small donation. One U.S. penny a foot every time I take a step higher on one of the 7 Summits. That is what I ask. For Everest that equals $196.35. My first step from Lukla at 9,400′ all the way to the top of the world at 29,035′; I will climb 19,635 feet to be precise.
I started with one word and want to end with two – “On belay?”
You can donate to research at The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund where 100% of your donation goes to fund promising research. Please read more at their site.
Family caregivers receive eduction and support though the National Family Caregivers Association. The impact on caregivers is astounding and debilitating sometimes destroying families, finances and the caregiver themselves.