Spreading Awareness Across the Country: Why I Walk

By: Anna Wade

My name is Anna Wade. I live in Seattle with my husband Dion, my two children, Xander and LC and our dog, Rocky. We love to play outside, travel, cook, be silly and spend time together. Xander and LC go to the same elementary school and Rocky hangs out with me while we work together from home, helping manage federal grants for local and state governments. Dion works in Seattle and helps make college a great place for students to learn and grow! 

A husband and wife and their two kids
My family.

I learned about the Alzheimer’s Association through my first job in an art museum in Florida, where I ran the family, adult and school programs. Many art museums run participatory programs across the country for people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, and I reached out to a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter in Tampa to begin a regular program at our museum. 

When I moved to Atlanta, I did the same thing. And, then again in Cooperstown, NY, which took me around the country to Major League Baseball stadiums and museums in every ballpark. I met fans who were facing the loss of their loved ones while bonding over the love of the game. They shared stories of this love and loss over hotdogs, home runs and heartbreak. The power of caregiving and the strength of the programming the Alzheimer’s Association puts together is truly like nothing I have ever seen before.

While the Alzheimer’s Association has always been a part of my professional career, dementia has also been a part of my personal life. My great-grandmother suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s and although I met her, I never truly “met” her. She was there to see me physically, but she never met me. I always wondered what it would have been like to meet her and learn about her life and her loves, passions and interests. I always wanted to spend a day touring Washington Heights, NYC with her where she used to spend her days baking and working as a stylist at a salon. I wish I could have had the opportunity to spend time with her and share stories.

My whole family has been volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association since about 2006 when I lived in Atlanta and volunteered as a committee member and Walk to End Alzheimer’s set-up team lead. When we moved to New York, we lived in Cooperstown and I traveled to Albany, NY to volunteer as a Walk committee member and eventually served as a Board Member for the local chapter.

When we moved out to Seattle from Cooperstown, I joined the local Walk Planning Committee, and now that my children are older and more active, we have all the energy in the world to walk and run and walk and run some more! 

We participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to see the Promise Garden each year, to hear people’s stories and to be a part of celebrating the amazing work that the Alzheimer’s Association does day in and day out. We participate to celebrate the work that each and every caregiver and loving family member does each day for their loved ones, and to celebrate all of those who are fighting and battling each day to spend just a moment more in a minute of the memory that they hold so dear. 

This year we participated in the Pacific Northwest Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Seattle and had a great time. We encourage everyone to continue to donate to the Walk through the end of the year. Donations are accepted through Dec. 31 and every little bit helps us in the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is happening — and you can join us at your local event or Walk From Home in your neighborhood. No matter where you Walk, your participation makes a difference in the lives of those facing Alzheimer’s today and in the future. Visit our website to find the Walk nearest you and register today!

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