Following five years of what she calls stress and heartbreak, Ada Glowacki of Batavia will honor the memory of her husband Russell on September 28, 2013 by joining dozens of other Genesee County residents who will Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Russell died in March of this year, “from the downward spiral and physical and mental effects of Alzheimer’s” recalls his loving wife, Ada. “Fortunately, there were precious moments when Russ acted or said something that resembled his former self, but those times were few and far between.”
Russ lived the last few months of his life in a memory care facility—a very difficult, but very common, decision made by his caregivers—primarily, Ada.
Ada was one of the thousands of Western New York residents who turned to the Alzheimer’s Association for advice and help when it became apparent that Russ was having some health issues that involved his memory and eventually, his overall health. This year, she will pay that help forward by taking part in her first fundraising Walk. “My daughter Patricia, who is also a corporate sponsor, and my granddaughter Gretchen will join me at the Genesee County Nursing home. Another granddaughter, Ellen, has raised more than $600—she will walk in Chicago, and her sister Anne will walk at the University of Illinois with some of her sorority sisters. We are all doing this because we know how devastating this disease is and we want to help end it, for future generations.”
Across Genesee County, it is estimated that more than 2,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Another 6,000 residents, usually spouses or children, provide some kind of care for those individuals. The Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter provides outreach, resources and help for them and the 222,000 others across the region who are directly impacted by the disease. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the chapter’s largest annual fundraiser, ensuring those programs can continue, and helping to fund vital research to find effective treatments and hopefully, a cure for this always fatal disease.
The Walk starts and ends at the Genesee County Nursing Home at 278 Bank Street in Batavia. The route is approximately 2-miles long and is open to the public, who are encouraged to register as an individual, as a team, or to donate to someone else’s team. Registered participants can earn prizes, including a t-shirt, and everyone who signs up by the 28th will receive a free vinyl pinwheel flower to “plant” in the on-site Promise Garden and “pick” after Walk to take home as a keepsake. The flowers come in four colors, which represent a reason to Walk: purple indicates the loss of a loved one to the disease; yellow denotes a caregiver; blue represents those with the disease; and orange symbolizes general support and advocacy for the association and its efforts.
Registration is fast and easy: visit alz.org/wny and click on the WALK banner, or call the chapter at their toll-free number: 1.800.272.3900. Funds can be raised and counted toward team totals until October 31. Walks will also take place in Buffalo on September 21, in Niagara County on September 28 and in Wyoming County on October 5.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Genesee County is made possible through the generous support of these fine local companies: Elderwood Senior Care, West Herr, Columbus McKinnon, Tim Hortons, and LeRoy Village Green, with media support provided by WBTA-AM.