Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Last week we had a couple of celebrations of sorts.

First, we celebrated The DEANA Foundation's 1st birthday! It's hard to believe that just one short year ago, we gathered together with an idea in mind and had our first official foundation meeting. Exactly one year later, we awarded our first 2 caregiving grants! We've made a lot of progress over the past year; we still have a long way to go, but we are getting there inch by inch. Certainly, this was cause for celebration! And so we held our foundation's 1st birthday party at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour last Thursday. We had a great turn out, a lot of which was family. Due to other events of the week (which I'll cover in a minute), we had a lot of family visiting in town. My dad's four sisters, several of my cousins and my twin brother's family all came into town and joined us for the celebration. Three of my mom's four siblings also made it to the celebration (the 4th sibling lives in Montana). We handed out buttons for every attendee to wear and it was just amazing to look around and see my mom's silhouette (our logo) being worn on all of our partygoers. I can't even express what it felt like to have that show of support- not just for the foundation, but in honor of our inspiration behind the foundation: my mom. Here are a few photos from that night, beginning with my mom's siblings and then some other photos of family and friends.

Sadly, the reason we had so much family in town was because my grandma (dad's mom) passed away a few weeks ago. On Friday, we celebrated her life with all of our family and friends. It is sad to see her go, but we had a lot of laughs (and some tears) at the great memories of grandma. For the first time in many years, all 16 of her grandchildren were together. It's sad that it takes death to bring people together, but good that we could all be here with each other. Family is everything.

Saturday was the Walk to End Alzheimer's. Because of all the family in town, we had a huge team this year!! It was so amazing to have everyone there in love and support of my mom. I know some people don't understand it (it doesn't change the situation with my mom), but walking together unites us and symbolizes our love and support for not just my mom, but for my dad as well. My dad and I are a lot alike in that family support means a lot to us (I suppose it's most accurate to say that I've inherited this value from my dad). I know that it meant the world to him to have all of his sisters there with him. Family is everything to him. I'm really glad that we were able to do this together and send the message to my dad loud and clear: he is not alone!

This year we also set up a foundation booth at the walk. It was great to meet new people and make new connections!

We were also invited back to sing The National Anthem again (my sister, Christina, friend, Mickelle, and myself). It's an honor to be asked to sing our country's anthem at an event so near and dear to me. The coolest thing happened this year: the MC looked down from the stage and saw the Team Dee Superheroes and thought they all looked so awesome that he invited the whole team up to stand with us while we sang The National Anthem! That was incredible!

As you can see, I have an amazing family. I tear up just thinking about how awesome they are. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend all of these celebrations than with my family. They mean the world to me! This is what gets me through from one day to the next-knowing that all these people have my back and are there to help us get through this. Thank you all for being so incredible!

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