Two friends training for Alzheimer's Triathlon
Two friends are teaming up to make a difference as they compete in a triathlon to raise awareness of and funds for the work of the Alzheimer's Association. Marion Weisse of Lockwood, N.Y. and Rev. Cynthia Huling Hummel of Elmira, N.Y. are training for the Indoor Warriors Triathlon that will be held on April 6 at Gold's Gym in Liverpool, N.Y.
The event includes swimming, running and biking. Both athletes are committed to raising awareness as well as funds.
For Huling Hummel, the event is very personal - she is competing for herself and for loved ones. In 2011, she was diagnosed with Amnesiac Mild Cognitive Impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease. Because of cognitive difficulties, she had to leave her position as the Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Waverly, N.Y. Despite her disability, she leads a full and active life, volunteering at and for local organizations and doing what she can to help. She is also auditing classes at Elmira College.
Huling Hummel serves on the Early Stage Advisory Council for the Alzheimer's Association and is a Peer-to-Peer counselor. She has also been participating in an Alzheimer's clinical trial for the past three years. Alzheimer's runs in her family. Her mother, maternal grandmother and uncle, all were diagnosed with the disease. Her hope and prayer is that a cure for Alzheimer's and other dementias will be found.
As a nurse, Marion Weisse worked with many Alzheimer's patients and their families. She saw first-hand how it affects the patient and their families. One clear memory while admitting a patient to a long term care psychiatric unit in 1983 has stayed with her. The woman came in with her family and grandchildren. Her young granddaughter came back by herself the next day and her grandmother had no idea who she was.
All of us deal with loss of loved ones every day. But losing their memory of their life is especially hard. As for the triathlon, this presents a new challenge for Weisse. Running for ten minutes, swimming for 10 minutes and bicycling for 30 minutes should be fun and it is for a very worthy cause. There is a need to find a cure for Alzheimer's and find ways to effectively treat it before people lose their memories from their life.
To sponsor the women, please visit the website for the event: www.alz.org/cny. Click on the Indoor Warrior event and select Athlete Registration is Open. You may also mail your check to the Alzheimer's Association of Central New York, 441 West Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204-1361. For additional information on the event, call Grant Fletcher at (315) 472-4201.