Back on my Bike for Alzheimer’s

My recovery from surgery is progressing and it’s almost time for me to get back on my bike.  A great inspiration to get riding again was the  Bike MS awards dinner I attended to honor the Top Fundraisers of the 2011 Bike NY Ride.  Many thanks to those of you who helped me place #60 in the top 200 individual fundraisers… Personally NUMBER 1 sounds much better to me but I’ll be reminding you of that come October when I ride for MS again.

For my first ride of the new year I’ve set my eyes on the TD 5 boro bike tour. This ride will be a special one. I applied to be a part of Athletes to End Alzheimer’s, a fundraising group, which has organized to ride in the TD 5 boro bike tour.   I just got news that I was accepted.
Alzheimer’s has had a deeply profound effect on my life.  My grandmother, an utterly amazing woman, is afflicted with it.  My Gram raised me as if I was her daughter.  This woman had the patience of a saint and a heart of gold.  She did absolutely everything in her power to make sure her “little lamb” (yes I was very cute as a child) was well taken care of.  She made me breakfast, drove me to school, picked me up from school, made me dinner, brought me shopping, took me to the beach and on vacations.  She was selfless and sacrificed to make sure I never went without.
I have very vivid memories of my Gram diligently squirreling away her social security funds to ensure I could get exactly what I wanted, like the baby pink GAP sweatshirt I just HAD TO HAVE.  She listened to endless hours of horrible screeching as I practiced the cello and battled the stampede of shoppers in the wee hours of the morning to make sure I got my Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas. And she never forgot to take me to our local bakery every Easter to get my favorite marzipan lamb.
Almost more amazing than what she did do was what she didn’t…as her little lamb went from chubby pink dress wearing child to  purple haired, black lipsticked, dog collared, tattooed (at 14 years old in 1989 girls didn’t have tattoos)  teenager she DID NOT DISOWN ME.   This extreme act exemplifies her saint like nature. Despite being a devout Catholic (I think she went to church or a prayer group just about every day) she saw past, what I know she swore was the devil, and still took amazing care of me.  Did all of her beliefs (and friends) tell her I was the devil spawn and going to hell 100 times over…YES.  I do think I was asked upwards of 1,00 times if I was a devil worshiper…I guess if I answered “no Gram I’m just a burgeoning Dominatrix” it wouldn’t have been any easier on her. But my Gram looked beyond all of that, looked past what the church said, played deaf to her friends chatter, and loved me all the same.  Not a thing has changed to this day.
But now my Gram no longer remembers driving me to school, she doesn’t even remember that she drove at all.  She does not remember the shopping adventures or fighting for the Cabbage Patch Kid.  She doesn’t remember the tortured cello or that my chubbiness turned to obesity (well I guess there is a few perks to memory loss- recent Gram statement….”you were fat nooo, when?  ahhh Alzheimer’s).  She doesn’t remember the marzipan lamb at Easter as we all joke about how I always ate the ears first, and sadly she doesn’t remember I was her “little lamb”…there have even been a few moments where she doesn’t remember me at all.
There is no cure for this disease and I am all too aware that she will never get better, she will inevitably only get worse.  This is why I have decided to do the only thing I can, contribute to trying to find a cure by joining Athletes to End Alzheimer’s and fundraising as much as I can.
While I still marvel at my Gram’s selfless, giving, sweet, and kind nature this is something I obviously DID NOT INHERIT!  So I expect (or should I say DEMAND) that everyone reading this do what they can to help me meet my fundraising goal.  DISAPPOINTING ME IS NOT AN OPTION!  And don’t think donating now is going to get you off the hook for my MS ride in October, that’s 7 months away.
To donate go to
If you want to use an alias or simply put Anonymous Jones feel free just let me know what name you donated as.  I will also accept the donation personally and submit it myself.
I hold all of you to very high standards, you know what to do.