Walking to Make a Difference

By Christi Griffin

Well, where do I begin? The hard journey of dementia began for my family in 2007. My mama discovered she was in the beginning stages of dementia, just a few months away from retirement. It was a difficult diagnosis for my family to accept. We felt so many emotions and had too many questions. How did this happen? Why did this happen, and to such a loving, smart and beautiful woman?

Unwilling to accept the diagnosis, I thought if I kept mama busy doing different activities, then I would be able to delay the disease: word searches, mathematical cards, charity walks, and dances to Oldie Goldie records (my personal favorite). In spite of my efforts, dementia slowly took her from us.

Following her diagnosis, I came across an article in the paper for a Walk to De-feet Dementia to benefit the Dementia Alliance of North Carolina (DA-NC), a local non-profit that supports those impacted by dementia through comfort, assistance, resources, and education. In my heart, I knew walking to defeat dementia would allow me to make a difference in my community somehow. Although I lost my mama in 2016, I continue to walk to reshape the future. September 12th, 2020 will be my 8th walk, and I hope the money we raise this year will do just that!

I come in contact with people all the time who are impacted by dementia. I tell them about DA-NC, how they helped me, and how they serve the community. I keep DA-NC business cards on hand, and openly share them with those who may need additional resources to live alongside the diagnosis. Dementia Alliance of North Carolina is a blessing for families and their loved ones impacted by dementia. We are fortunate to have them in our state.