Friday, February 1, 2008
Ending 2007 on a wing and a prayer.
In November, 2007, Sally Apgar of The Sun-Sentinel (one of our local South Florida papers) wrote a story about The Unforgettable Fund. She did such an amazing job, we have received over $6,000 in donations which will be donated to Dr. Claes Wahlestedt at Scripps Florida, our “local” Alzheimer’s researcher, on Monday, February 2. A few were large donors, but the great majority were a bit above or a bit below $10. I was overwhelmed with the generosity and heartfelt messages that these donors included with their checks. Many of them knew first hand the great loss Alzheimer's causes. Many lost spouses, friends, co-workers. An entire tennis team donated in the name of a member's mom. One man included the most lovely pictures of his wife, before and after. So many donated in the names of their mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. A son - whose father helped him as a partner in his business, and who now has Alzheimer’s - donated to The Unforgettable Fund instead of buying corporate gifts for his clients, sending them a card to explain. My friend and fellow Alzheimer’s blogger Bert from “Had A Dad” lost her father and a friend found us and donated in his name. So many people. Don’t know if it’s of comfort or not, but if you’re dealing with Alzheimer’s, you’re really, really not alone. There’s just too many of us, aren’t there?
I wish to respect the privacy of these donors. In order to share their words with you, I will have to do so anonymously. I hope you hear the many voices that stand behind these words. I have a feeling they'll sound very familiar to many.
"My wife was a wonderful, beautiful gal - and we were married sixty years - she repeatedly beseeched me with her frightened, confused, questioning, "Will you take care of me?" - Jack F.
"Thank you for caring. I hope there is a cure." - Morton T.
"Thank you for providing me with a way to make a direct contribution to scientists who are working on a cure for Alzheimer's disease. My best friend died from this disease. It was so sad to watch her decline." - Jean C.
"Best of luck in continuing your good work." - Denise D.
"Wishing you much success in your quest for the Alzheimer's solution. It will be the greatest "mitzvah" to the people of our world in this century." - Norman G.
"Your story was most touching. I am 94 and a WWII veteran. I've seen so many of my dear friends suffer. Good luck and I think you are wonderful." - Yale N.
“Keep up the good work. My mother died 20 years ago from Alzheimer’s.” Gerald A.
“Hope this helps a little.” - Nina G.
“Read your article in the Sun-Sentinel and I think it’s great to make donations direct to The Unforgettable Fund.” - Jennie U.
“Read the article in the Sun-Sentinel and was impressed that all donations go directly for research – instead of the frills – labels, cards, note pads. Sorry it can’t be more.” - Susan K.
“I learned that as a blood relative to an Alzheimer’s patient, I stand a 40% chance of ending up with Alzheimer’s myself.” - Ken R.
“My best wishes for your continued efforts in a revolutionary idea!” - Leah J.
“After reading the article by Sally Apgar, and having had personal experience with an Alzheimer’s patient, I am happy to contribute to a fund such as this.” - Irving W.
“I applaud you for your efforts. I read the Sun-Sentinel newspaper article with many tears, as I had a very similar and terribly sad situation with my father. I wish I could send more, but I wish you much good luck in your endeavors.” - Lorell R.
“How refreshing to read in Sun-Sentinel Nov. 27, ‘07, of a way to help fight Alzheimer’s without a “middle man” and a deluge of unwanted address labels and other “free” gifts. I’m enclosing a small donation. I can’t do much, but I can do SOMETHING. Thanks and God bless you all.” - Isabelle E.
“I am enclosing my check to help you in your fight against Alzheimer’s, which unfortunately, at 87 years old, my husband is a victim. Now, for the remainder of his years, robbed of his past. Seems so unfair, but who says life is fair!” - Phyllis L.
“My father also died of Alzheimer’s so I share your pain. I have been giving to the Alzheimer’s Association but like the idea of 100% going directly to research. Keep up the good work.” - Kathleen W.
“Wishing you loads of good luck.” - Shirley G.
“Would like to help in this research. Please accept this check.” - Dorothy A.
“A small donation for a very good cause.” - Elinor A.
“Looking forward to quick results.” - Helene N.
“I read the article in the Sun-Sentinel and am so pleased to find a place for my donation that goes directly to Alzheimer’s research. I hope your work will be fruitful and hasten to make this disease history.” - Rosalie H.
“I’m happy to donate to an Alzheimer’s fund where the money goes to the fund itself and not for “administrative costs”. - Herbert S.
“What a lovely idea you had to remember your father by establishing this fund.” Mary Lou B.
I read and re-read these letters and hear them as a prayer, giving hope wings.