In the summer of 2018, with my father, I will endeavor to ride my mountain bike down the continental divide trail. Together we will conquer 2700 miles of uncertain terrain, from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, to honor the memory of my great papa Troy Shackelford.
My great papa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000 and at the age of 79 succumbed to this cruel disease. I remember great papa as a kind hearted, brilliant, organized, detail oriented, patient and compassionate man. He taught me about rocks, and birds, he showed me jewelry that he had made and rocks he had found, shaped and polished, and on Sundays he gave me the funnies from his newspaper. He taught me that peanut butter makes waffles taste better, he helped me pick oranges from higher up in the tree, and that a simple porch swing can be exciting if you just enjoy the moment.
This summer, for my senior project, I will test the limits of my physical and emotional capacity to build lifelong memories in honor of his memories lost. To honor all who have had their self confidence, independence, treasured memories, family and eventually their lives exchanged with disorientation, confusion, fear, dependence and loneliness, to give voice to those who have forgotten theirs.
I would like to invite you to join my journey, to support the journey of those who have and continue to suffer from Alzheimer’s, to support those who provide care and comfort to Alzheimer’s patients and to contribute to medical advancements and care advancements for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s patients.
To support this project please consider donating a charitable contribution to the Alzheimer’s foundation of America by clicking the donate now button located under My Story. To donate supplies or funds to support the ride, please contact us directly by commenting under the Contact tab. Thank you all for taking this journey with me. Your kindness and support inspire me to keep pedaling.