My name is Eva Thompson. I’m a 36 year-old, single mother of the sweetest little boy. My son is five years old and started kindergarten last week. He’s the light of my life and one of many reasons I’m participating in this year’s Twin Cities Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 9 at Target Field.
Alzheimer’s disease runs rampant in my family. It took my grandmother when I was in high school, as well her brother. It’s a disease that has touched my life and one I hope we can eradicate in the near future. A defining moment of my life was when my own mother, Lucy, was diagnosed with it at the young age of 61. Sadly, she lost her battle just four years later in September of 2015.
My mommy was incredible. She was a loving and dedicated mother, grandmother, sister, teacher, and friend. She was kind and gentle, a caregiver, an incredible listener and grammar fanatic, and the most patient person I’ve ever known. My mother’s motto was TTTBK--Take Time to Be Kind. This is something I now share with my own son so he’ll be as grateful as I am for the lessons she taught.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Mom, along with my siblings and I, made the decision to sell her home and move her in with my older sister, Leah. While this living situation proved difficult at times for my sister and her family, we all agreed it was the best place for mom to be - we were dedicated to keeping her home for as long as possible. She would be cared for and loved by her family.
Her care, over time, became trying for my sister and her family. The stress it caused was evident and we all struggled with guilt and heartbreak as we watched her rapid decline. Watching her slowly lose herself was devastating. She was becoming the child, and we her parents. We watched her lose her memories. She spoke to us as if we were strangers. We watched her struggle to communicate. We watched her lose her ability to drive, cook, teach, read, play with and care for her grandchildren, and ultimately feed or care for herself.
My mother’s death was the darkest time of my life. Out of her struggle, I hope to bring awareness of Alzheimer’s disease to the forefront. Over the years, my involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association has increased through advocacy, volunteer work, and my involvement with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this year. I made the decision to Chair this year’s event with the intention of making an even bigger impact. I walk for my mom, but I also walk for future generations. I walk so my own son doesn’t have to watch me suffer with this disease. I walk for all those living with the disease and their caregivers. I walk so this disease will end with my mom’s generation.
Join me on September 9 as we walk to help end Alzheimer’s – register today at alz.org/walk.