Today, a spotlight on one of the causes for which I ride: Cure Alzheimer’s. Please consider supporting the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in memory of my late wife Valerie.
Cure Alzheimer’s is a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing or reversing Alzheimer’s disease. Frustrated with the slow pace of research about the disease, Cure Alzheimer’s founders applied their experience in venture capital and corporate startups to build an organization specifically designed to accelerate research, make bold bets, and eradicate the disease. The organization’s unwavering focus on finding a cure is made possible by our Board of Directors, which finances all of our overhead expenses so that 100% of all donations go to research.
Younger-onset Alzheimer’s took Valerie from us far too early. We were married for 47 years before she died this past January. Though she was just 67, she had been on a journey with dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease or mixed dementia…. for at least 15 years.
Valerie was all about family, making career choices and daily choices that put the interests of her children and husband above her own. When my job meant the whole family moved for 2-3 years at a time—to Colombo, Sri Lanka (1988); Hanoi, Viet Nam (1995); and Abuja, Nigeria (2006)—she ensured that the family had what it needed to learn, to grow and to love together.
Wherever she went she found music, education, faith communities, and good friends. Teaching in schools where she happened to be living; always teaching Sunday School; and wherever the opportunity arose, finding a choir to join.
Four grandchildren were born in her last seven years. Dementia may have diminished the potential for a lasting and beautiful relationship, but there was time for some laughs and giggles, and the chance for them to sense the love that she had for children.
Valerie was a sweet soul, known for joy and empathy, a mischievous and feisty streak, and a distinctive laugh that defined her for many people. She loved and was loved.
Read Valerie’s full story, and consider supporting the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in her memory, and remember that 100% of donations go to Alzheimer’s research.
Mick, it was a blessing for me to share part of your journey with Val. Keep pedaling! The photos are inspiring!