This week I shall turn 43.
It ain’t pretty.
Spanx have become a staple.
The white glistens in my hair within about 20 minutes of dying it dark.
I’m drooping, sagging, and flopping in places that one should never droop, sag, nor flop.
Sometimes, when I walk past a mirror, I do not even recognize that the reflection is me. Don’t even get me started on if I accidentally walk past a mirror unclothed!
I have only one ovary, just one functioning knee, and at least one trip to the restroom per night.
My eyes have been repaired, and my uterus has been removed.
My esthetician is on speed dial, I use my eye cream religiously, and I am not above miracle cures for sun spots and wrinkles.
Its true: I am not going down with much grace.
But I am going down with a fight.
I am doing everything possible to retain the health of my body as well as my brain…
I continue my yoga practice and attend a class at Barre 3 as much as my schedule and knee allow.
I strive to eat healthy and have studied and learned enough about my nutrition that when I do splurge, it is my decision and a conscience choice.
I cook and clean and read and sew and stay active, and I get plenty of sleep each week.
I say my prayers, count my blessings, and sing praises for this amazing life which I have been gifted.
I advocate and work towards a world without Alzheimer’s so that I may remember this life until its end. And so that my children may enjoy the final years that we are together.
One way in which I am making a different in the fight against Alzheimer’s is with my membership in the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. I have written once before about AIM, so I will not rehash the who, what, and how, but I will revisit the why…
To begin, you need to know the basic process for affecting large-scale medical advancement in America:
-> Local events educate small groups who begin to share what they have learned which becomes part of regional conversation.
-> The small groups and those concerned across the country unite to become a large, national voice.
-> Elected officials hear the large voice and become aware of broad-based concern through advocacy efforts.
-> Legislators fund impactful research.
-> High level, innovative, creative, and critical research paves the way to treatment and cures.
Over the past 50 years, this process has provided major developments in the treatment and survival of cancer, breast health, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS though political action groups and advocacy organizations.
It is imperative that this process now take hold in the battle to end Alzheimer’s Disease, and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement is the platform that will get it done.
There is strength in numbers. The work that AIM has done in conjunction with local efforts through the Alzheimer’s Association has procured big budget gains in ALZ research through the NIH over the past few years. The greater our numbers, the louder our voice, the louder our voice, the stronger the pressure, the stronger the pressure, the more likely legislators are to support, the more supportive the legislators, the more that gets approved, the more that gets approved, the bigger the steps forward, the bigger the steps forward, the sooner we have some way – some chance – of fighting this disease.
Sadly, we are still terribly underfunded and way, way behind.
So, here is my birthday wish:
Help me celebrate my birthday.
I ask that you take a quick 5 minutes and just $20, and please use this link to join AIM with me: AIM Membership Referral.
It is an annual membership, so I will be sure to remind you to renew next year…
You know, when I turn 44 and hopefully have no additional “signs of aging” to report 😉
With love and hugs,
Ashli (age 42 + 362 days)