Walking for her Mother Josephine, Woman Shares Passion Behind Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Walking for her Mother Josephine, Woman Shares Passion Behind Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s

(Cathy Grube, April 3, 2019)

Royal Oak, MI- Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 at the Detroit Zoo is the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I’d like you to join us, and here is why…

I became involved when my mother, Josephine Kallioinen, became an Alzheimer’s statistic.  Mom’s Alzheimer’s dementia crept up on us slowly –forgetting an ingredient in a recipe she had made thousands of times before, not remembering directions to her favorite store or not remembering the name of someone she had recently seen.

The disease progressed over many years and over those years there were many good-byes to things she had known how to do just a few months or days before.

Dementia is what I’ve said for years in talking with her doctors and with family.  A touch of dementia sounds like a touch of flu – something that will go away in time.  Alzheimer’s is final and takes away everything, your memory and your dignity.  I read an article that said dementia is the fever and Alzheimer’s is the disease.  Alzheimer’s is so much more frightening.

Mom stopped cooking at least five years before she died, and mom was a great cook.  There were always wonderful smells throughout the house or her apartment when she was making her famous spaghetti sauce and meatballs, a recipe passed down through the generations from my grandmother to my mother.

Mom made a cheesecake that everyone raved over; fighting for the last piece like it was a million dollars.

She started to forget where things were kept or how they were used.

I walked into her apartment one day when she was on the telephone with my brother in California.  She stopped talking and it was clear he had hung up.

I said “mom, who are you talking to?”

She said, “I’m talking to you.”

I said, “Who was on the telephone with you.”

She said, “What’s a telephone?”

Soon after that she stopped answering the telephone because she didn’t know how to use it.

She forgot who her grandchildren were as well as her sons who lived out of State.  One day I walked in and said “Hi mom.”

She said “why do you call me that?”

I knew then she no longer knew me.  Although you know the day is coming, nothing can prepare you for when it happens.

We were lucky, my mother was 85 when she died from Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s is not an older person’s disease.  A good friend of mine is another Alzheimer’s statistic, diagnosed this year at the age of 57 with early-onset Alzheimer’s.  She knows what is coming and what to expect.  She is making her life plan with the knowledge she only has a few years left to implement it.

The statistics are staggering:  Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States affecting over 6.1M Americans.  Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease.

WE NEED YOUR HELP to find the cure and a survivor in our lifetime!  Please Join and Donate today:  Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Associations is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease®. This is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Join us on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at the Detroit Zoo and Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  Join and donate at: Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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