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Get to Know the Women from Our Community Who Participated in the Walk!
We had the pleasure of talking to three women who are a part of the Water’s Edge of Bradenton family, Julie Gartside, Suzanne Fonow, and Jeanie Brantley, and asked them about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Read on to learn about them, their connection to Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
Q. How many years have you participated in the walk?
Julie Gartside: I’ve participated in the Manatee County Walk for seven years.
Suzanne Fonow: Two
Jeanie Brantley: For almost thirty years. As long as I have been in the retirement housing business.
Q. What does this event mean to you?
Julie Gartside: This event holds special meaning to me due to my experience in working in the memory care field for the past nine years, as well as experiencing the loss of my mother to the disease in 2016.
Suzanne Fonow: It is something that I feel contributes to the cure of Alzheimer’s. I’ve had family members affected with this disease.
Jeanie Brantley: My mother passed away three years ago from Alzheimer’s. My father was the caregiver and he died from an abdominal aneurism from being her caregiver. She then was in assisted living until she became an elopement risk and had to be admitted to an Alzheimer’s long-term care facility. She spent ten years there and slowly lost her ability to walk or care for herself. She could not communicate her needs and died from a stroke.
Q. What made you decide to participate this year?
Julie Gartside: This is an event that I plan to attend on an annual basis for years to come.
Suzanne Fonow: Same as question two.
Jeanie Brantley: I am sure there is a cure, which is why I am invested in funding for research so perhaps my grandchildren won’t have to suffer this horrible disease.
Q. Do you know anyone who has been affected by a memory disorder such as Alzheimer’s?
Julie Gartside: Yes. I work in the memory care field and provide information and support to families. I also have family members who have been diagnosed.
Suzanne Fonow: Yes.
Jeanie Brantley: As stated in question two.
Which Promise Garden flower means the most to you?
Julie Gartside: I choose the purple flower in memory of those who have lost this battle.
Suzanne Fonow: All of them.
Jeanie Brantley: The white flower.
Q. What are you looking forward to most about the event?
Julie Gartside: These events are a time to come together in support of the ongoing research and to remember those who are living with this disease in one capacity or another.
Suzanne Fonow: The camaraderie and seeing families and their parents with Alzheimer’s come together for the sole cause of finding a cure.
Jeanie Brantley: More people need to know that we need their support. Also, to get more federal funding for research.