Why the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is extremely personal to me.

I lost my grandmother in September 1995 to Alzheimer’s Disease. My mother predicted back then that she would probably also inherit the disease. Many decades later, she sought the advice of a neurologist at the first signs of the disease. Initially, symptoms were small things like forgetting why you went to the grocery store or not finding your purse for weeks. Then it turned into constantly repeating the same things, being a danger to herself and others in the kitchen, forgetting how to swallow or how to walk and, ultimately, being unable to recognize us as her family. My mother was taking all the known medications for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s affects the family and caregivers in ways not many can fully comprehend. You come to understand that as the days go by, you will see less and less glimpses of the real person behind the disease. You learn how to let go a little more each day of that which you can no longer control. It is truly heartbreaking. Regardless of the things mom would say or do, I would try to find humor in the situation or distract her in some way to not make her aware of how the disease was progressing. Even while living five hours away, I tried to visit as often as I could and do the things that we always enjoyed doing like having lunch together, gardening and having a snow cone or ice cream. Quality time was everything.

Supporting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is extremely personal to me. Like my mom, I too am aware that this is genetic and that at some point in the future my memory may also fail me. I’ve learned that staying physically active is one way to delay the onset of the disease, which is probably why I am so passionate about fitness. Two years ago, I joined the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor of my mom and grandmother. I baked cakes, breads, and pies in exchange for donations. What better way to honor the two ladies who taught me how to cook than to share their baking legacy?

The walk this year will be done virtually with the convenience of doing the walk wherever you desire and with or without a small group. Please join us in raising awareness and funds to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. My life literally depends on it.

Dr. Angelica Lozano is a dentist at Dixon Health & Wellness Center. She and her husband, René Nieto, have been married for two years. The couple has two furry friends – Max Ivan and Daisy Dukes. She and her husband enjoy gardening, hiking, and working-out, together.

You can help support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s by joining Team MHM. Methodist Healthcare Ministries is proud to serve as a Presenting Sponsor for the third consecutive year and honored to be partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association. Together, we can help find a cure for this disease. Click hereto register.