Thanks to everybody who supported the Second Branchburg Race Against Alzheimer's!
This event raised over $50,700! This brings the two year total raised to over $109,600! Your contributions are greatly appreciated!
Pictures from the 2014 event are located in the slideshow on this page. The 5K Race Results are available on Monday, May 18 at www.pretzelcitysports.com.
ALL MONEY COLLECTED SUPPORTS CURE ALZHEIMER'S FUND AND IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
Thanks to everybody who supported the first Branchburg Race Against Alzheimer's! The June 9, 2013 event raised over $58,900 for Alzheimer's research! Contributors from 24 states and 3 countries helped the cause!
Thanks to Customer Marketing Group, which organized a satellite race, The Woodlands Race Against Alzheimer's, to benefit the Branchburg Race Against Alzheimer's and Cure Alzheimer's Fund.
For more information about the first Branchburg Race Against Alzheimer's, please click on the "2013 Event" tab.
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The Stanfords' Story
A Message from Mike Napoli, Event Organizer
When I heard about the Stanfords' story, I was inspired and motivated to create an event that would promote awareness of Alzheimer's Disease and raise money for Alzheimer's research. I felt that a running event to benefit charity was the best way to raise money for Alzheimer's research and honor Mrs. Stanford, who has always been an avid runner.
-Mike Napoli, Event Organizer
Thank you for visiting the Branchburg Race Against Alzheimer’s website and your interest in participating and/or supporting this cause – finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease! Last year’s race/walk was a fabulous event and one of the most memorable days in the lives of my family, and certainly one of the more positive days we’ve had since Marcia was diagnosed more than 3 years ago. Support from community, family, friends and employers at last year’s race, and every day since, has been an overwhelming source of aid, comfort and relief!
Last year “our story” described Marcia's condition. I wrote that her speech impairment was significant. She could no longer drive, cook, or do the things she used to do as a mother to our kids. She was starting to show increasing symptoms common to more typical Alzheimer's. Over the last year, Marcia has seen more milestone changes. Marcia had to give up running. In fact, she has not run since last year’s race. She had to stop working at two jobs she loved, and she started attending the Adult Day Center of Somerset County. In October, she suffered two seizures and was hospitalized for four days, an unfortunate risk we will always need to be concerned about. In the months since her seizures, it’s quite clear she has not fully recovered to her pre-seizure self. Communication is little more than a word or two, and Marcia getting dressed and eating on her own cannot be assumed. Today’s reality is that there is very little Marcia can do without help or supervision.
And the toll on Riley, Ryan, and me, three of many “caregivers” has also grown. Riley and Ryan are far too young to be exposed to this disease first hand and both have matured beyond their years. Marcia’s disease is having an impact on Riley’s college selection, my job and future career options, and has become an isolating disease by limiting our ability to socialize with friends and family.
While Alzheimer's is generally a disease that strikes the elderly, I have learned firsthand that AD is not just an "old-person's" disease. Marcia was 50 when she was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and 48 when symptoms first appeared. In Marcia's case, the symptoms began with mild difficulty in speech, atypical for Alzheimer's symptoms, which normally start with lapses in memory. Our medical journey showed what's good and not so good about the medical community. We spent about two years with doctors who told Marcia that nothing was wrong and she was likely imagining things. We then spent another six months with doctors at the Neuroscience Center in Summit, New Jersey, who did everything they could to determine a cause of Marcia's medical condition. Ultimately, they diagnosed her with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), caused by Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We were grateful for the concern and thoroughness of their efforts to find a cause for Marcia's speech impairment, but devastated with a diagnosis that has no cure. We have been seeing a specialist in NYC since Marcia’s diagnosis, where Marcia’s care is focused on managing her progression and helping me plan Marcia’s care.
We are grateful that Mike Napoli conceived and organized this event, sharing our passion to create awareness for Alzheimer's Disease and to help fund research to find a cure. Alzheimer's is a fatal disease that is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the only cause of death among the Top 10 that is growing. There is no cure, no way to prevent it, and no way to slow it down. It's a costly disease that affects individuals, but is also a tremendous strain on families, both emotionally and financially.
There is a lot of good work being done with regards to Alzheimer's Disease, including research, awareness, programming for those affected, caregiving efforts, and more. As a family affected by AD, we are grateful and thankful for all these efforts, yet we are no closer to finding a solution to a disease that has few options but to watch a loved one waste away.
I have been amazed at how many lives have been touched by Alzheimer's. Almost everyone I speak with has had the disease affect their family, or knows someone whose family has been affected by Alzheimer's Disease. Seeing what this disease has done to Marcia and how it has impacted our family and knowing how costly care is for those affected, we know that a cure is a must. More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, and this number is expected to triple by 2050 at an annual cost to our government of over one trillion dollars. Today, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer's will have an impact on all Americans if no cure is found. Help us find a cure soon. We will not be able to help Marcia, but finding a cure might help you or someone you love.
For more information about Marcia's journey, visit http://marciaearlyonsetalzheimers.blogspot.com.
Mike Stanford (Marcia's husband and father of Riley and Ryan)
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