By: Jodi Kane
This year will be my seventh Chicago Marathon in a row and my sixth Chicago Marathon with ALZ Stars. I’m hooked!
I’m running with ALZ Stars for many reasons. First and foremost, my beautiful mom was diagnosed at the young age of 60 (8 years ago, when I was 23). I watched the disease take everything from her and promised her I’d fight for her always. Even with the disease, my mom was the kindest, most upbeat, loving, strong, and loyal person I know and she was my best friend. She fought hard and wouldn’t let anything stop her. She never let the disease define her and made this world a happier place full of so much love.
On this most recent Christmas Eve, at the age of 68, Alzheimer’s unexpectedly took my mom from us and we lost her when we least expected it. We had no idea the time was coming and it shocked us, but it showed me how fragile life truly is. I promised I would always fight for her and never give up on helping find a cure, so here I am. My maternal grandparents died from Alzheimer’s along with many other relatives on my mom’s side and my uncle (mom’s brother) was diagnosed one year after her and continues to fight.
I hope we all live to see a cure for this disease and have lots of healthier days on earth to love one another. I’ve learned in the past 9 months without her that losing a parent is more difficult than I ever imagined and I miss her every single day.
Although I have no control over the situation or that I lost my mom to this cruel disease at the age of 32, I try to find control in things I can, such as fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association and running for her. My mom was a determined person and I will follow in her footsteps that we will find a cure. My mom’s my hero and I will never stop fighting for her.
It’s such an amazing feeling to finish the marathon and I can’t wait to run. My ultimate goal is to run with my amazing mom in my heart and fight for all those who have this disease or know someone with this together. I truly think together we can really make an impact.