Running 4 Answers

Posted: Feb. 1, 2010

By Carolyn Mastrangelo

The saddest part is that my story isn’t unique. Many who read this will have similar ones to tell. Noticing that my mom wasn’t quite right was a scary revelation. Realizing that it was happening at the age of 55 was terrifying. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend -- roles that she taught me how to do well. She was an avid reader and trivia buff. She was a registered nurse at a nursing home for 22 years, a job she enjoyed tremendously. She has lived in one now for 5 years. She is almost 66 years old.

Having lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer, I knew there were many ways to donate -- many ways to DO SOMETHING. As a runner, I found races that support breast cancer research. I looked for races to support my mom, but, for a disease that affects 35 million and continues to afflict another American every 70 seconds, I was shocked to find not one race benefitting Alzheimer’s.

The disease is devastating to watch; however there was nothing to do but watch.

As a personal trainer, I believe in change -- that things can be different than they are now. I decided to change the lack of races. I reached out to my friend and fellow fitness enthusiast, Barbara Geiger, and asked if she would be interested in helping me put something together. A race was born.

The name of the race started with Melissa Etheridge’s song in reference to breast cancer, “I Run For Life.” A song I love, we looked at the lyrics to spark some ideas and found the line, “running for answers.” The second we read that line, we knew we had found a name for our race.

We lack answers. They are lacking in the research and they are lacking in our daily lives. How often did I hope that the answer to the question, “Mom, do you know who I am?” would produce the right answer -- or even an answer.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is exactly the type of organization I was looking for. Their singular focus on research is what we need.

This experience is exciting. Daunting. Beyond rewarding. I’m not just watching my mom in a nursing home. We are doing something. It alone will not solve the problem, but it is a step in the right direction.

This race offers the opportunity for YOU to do something, too. Run. Walk. Donate. Sponsor.

Join us.

Carolyn is one of the race organizers of "Running 4 Answers," a 4-mile race and 1.5-mile walk to benefit Cure Alzheimer's Fund. For more information on "Running 4 Answers," visit http://www.running4answers.org