Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Motivation for the Marathon (Guest Post by my brother Dan)

My family and I are slowly losing my father to Alzheimer's. It is very hard to see the man, whom I have always revered as one of the smartest I've ever known, gradually forget his own history.

Luckily for all of us, Dad still has his quick wit and ready smile. Despite the disease, his Irish charm shines through whenever company arrives, he holds a grandchild, sits with Mom, watches Notre Dame win, or sings a song. I pick up the guitar, we play a Kingston Trio song together, and suddenly the world makes sense. We have Dad.

However having lost my grandmother to this degenerative disease back in 1997, I know there are tougher days ahead. There will come days when Dad forgets the words to the songs. There will come days when Dad forgets more than that. Despite the wonders of the patch, and other equally impressive medicines, this disease cannot be stopped.

Alzheimer's worsens over time. A progressive disease, the symptoms only increase over years. In the earliest stages, memory loss is mild. With late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.

According to the Alzheimer's Association website, 5.3 million people are currently living with this disease. Additionally, there are over 10.9 million unpaid caretakers at work with these patients. These are the wives, husbands, children, neighbors, and colleagues who give of their time, talent, and treasure.

So for my mom, a caretaker of my grandmother and now my father, I run.

For my brother and sisters, who love Dad as much as anyone ever could, I run.

For Dad I run.

There is no cure ...yet.

And just so you know, I plan on putting in that much more effort on the 26.2 mile course for every 100 dollars I can raise. (If you could see me right now, you'd know that my arms are extended really wide to suggest the level of extra effort I will give. ...They are really stretched).

For all those families dealing with Alzheimer's, you're in my thoughts and prayers.


Dan Green

If you see me running by, feel free to scream all words of encouragement you have. Here are some suggestions:

"GO GREEN GO!" (Watch out for saying it too quickly and making it sound like "Go Gringo!" People might find that offensive.)
"Dan the Man" (It will be on my shirt)
"Go Badgers!" (Spring Hill)
"Ruined for Life!" (JVC)
"Go St. Thomas!" (Work)
"Yeah Beaumont!" (hometown love)
"Sr. Verde!" (for my Spanish speaking friends)
"Look out! There's a mad man behind you! RUUUUUUN!" (just to see what happens).

SISTER'S NOTE: To donate to Dan's run for our dad:


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