My grandma Lucy died the summer before I started seminary, just two months before Jay and I were married. The quintessential church lady, grandma was a Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, youth coordinator, president of the United Methodist Women, and was once given a Lay Pastoral Care Award. So when grandma reminded us repeatedly that she prayed for each one of us by name every night, even after Alzheimer’s started to claim her brain, we believed her. I remembered this right around mile 4 of my run this morning as the sun finally peaked through a series of sky scrapers in lower Manhattan, spilling light onto my path and my face. Even after my grandmother’s death, I still feel her prayers.
Just as my grandmother’s prayers continue to touch my life, so does her legacy with Alzheimer’s disease. When my grandmother was living, she shared with others the implications of her disease. She participated in the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium at Texas Tech University. And in her death, she donated her brain to the Brain Bank program for further research.
Yesterday I registered for the NYC Marathon… again. Last year I trained for the NYC Marathon while raising over $6,000 for the Colon Cancer Coalition in memory of my friend Aimee. The marathon was cancelled when hurricane Sandy hit, so I ran the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon in Aimee’s hometown instead. It was amazing. The love and support for Aimee and me carried me to the finish line and still brings tears to my eyes. And yet, I didn’t get to run the marathon I’d trained for. So when I was given the opportunity again to run the world’s biggest marathon, I knew that a) I would run it, and b) I’d run it for my grandma.
I’ve teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Association to make this a “Run to Remember.” My goal is to raise $100 for every mile, $2,620 all together. You can join me in this cause by donating online or via snail mail, or by sharing this cause with friends and family. 100% of the funds raised will go to the Alzheimer’s Association advancing research, prevention, treatments, education and care.
And if by chance we break $5,000 again this year, I’ll dye (part of) my hair purple leading up to the race. I know there are a lot of good causes out there, but if by chance you knew and loved my grandmother Lucy, or if you know someone else affected by this crippling disease, or if you just want to see what I look like with purple hair, please join us in this run to remember. Your support changes lives.
Join my team and learn more here: http://act.alz.org/goto/lauren-ingnyc
Thanks for your support! Go team LUCY!