Wednesday Awareness: Keep Walking

When Angel Girl was born – wayyyy back in the year 2000 – our sweet neighbors gave SonShine a baby gift: Silly Sing-Along 2 ~ The End of Silliness?

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It was our first introduction to Veggie Tales, and it was a lifesaver! At the ripe old age of 27 months, SonShine figured out how to turn on the TV all by himself.  It was one of those fabulous, monstrous, console televisions that Coach bought refurbished at a used appliance store when he was in college…it was 30 years old if it was a day. But it sat right on the ground with the VCR on top, and if he tip-toed just right, SonShine could reach high enough to pop in his new movie which comprised of a random selection of Silly Songs with Larry. It was perfect to entertain him when I was feeding Angel Girl or rocking her to sleep.  Let’s just say that Coach and I know – still to this very day – every single silly song with Larry.

One of my favorites from that video is “Keep Walking.”  I love the message, the lyrics, and the tune, and for some reason it pops into my head anytime I think about our upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s (which takes place this Saturday, October 22nd at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green).  I’ve been told that the Pre-Walk Ceremony is really something to behold, and I can only imagine how powerful a statement thousands of us “purpled-out” and pounding the pavement together will feel as we walk to end Alzheimer’s.  I am extra excited to participate in this year’s walk because both my kiddos are able to join me!

Just like in Larry’s Silly Song, I feel called to keep walking, to raise awareness, encourage others, and make every effort possible to be a light of hope and possibility for a cure to this fatal disease.

Coach and I have been working with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to do all those things, and we have been positively blown away by how supportive and generous all of our family and friends have been in this work.  Last month, we ran a one-week campaign to raise money for this year’s Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s with a pledge of matching up to $10,000 in donations.  I sent an email letting everyone know about the matching gift program, the Oklahoma Chapter promoted the challenge locally, and the story was even picked up by the national Alzheimer’s Association.

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Each night that week, Coach and I would scroll through the donations that were coming in, and each night we were overwhelmed with the love and support we received with every gift.  The outpouring was simply beautiful!

At the end of that week, $19,550 had been donated, and Coach and I very happily handed over our matching $10,000.  That is unbelievable!!  Together we raised just under $30K in only 7 days.  THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!

As you all know we are walking on Saturday in honor of Coach’s mom, Sandra.  Our team name is “Sandra Jean” and our goal – our prayer – is threefold:

  1. Raise the funds needed to conduct the research necessary to find a cure and an end to ALZ,
  2. Support patients, caregivers, and healthcare workers who are fighting this monster every day.
  3. Save our Nana.

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We would love to have you join our team, either in Tulsa on Saturday or online as a virtual walker.  Our team building doesn’t end when we finish the walk this weekend, so log on and jump in:  TEAM SANDRA JEAN!

With love and hugs and an extra huge THANK YOU to all who supported this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s,

Ashli

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