Why I Walk: Rachel’s Story

RachelRachel Castro Jenkins is the Mission Chair for the Sacramento Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year she will oversee and assist in the setup and facilitation of the Promise Garden, Advocacy Card and Trial Match signups.

What is your connection to Alzheimer’s disease?

Unfortunately, my connection to Alzheimer’s began with my husband’s grandmother, who passed away from the disease nearly five years ago now. Slowly and then all at once, my connection to Alzheimer’s expanded to my own grandfather who is now entering the later stages of the disease.

How did you get involved with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s?

It was a coworker’s company-wide email that drew me to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She was sending out a recruitment email on behalf of one of her friends, and it stuck with me for several days until I finally reached out and asked how I could help. Up until that point I had been feeling powerless as to how to help my family address my grandfather’s decline. I knew this was an opportunity to donate my time, perhaps the most valuable resource any of us can give, to something greater than the pain of the disease. I chose to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s as Mission Chair, whose chief responsibility is to ensure the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission, vision and charge is present at Walk, as well as any events leading up and related to the signature event.

Do you have any advice for others who are in a similar situation?

If you’ve been touched by Alzheimer’s or have a loved one who has been, getting involved in Walk is the most critical way to take action. Any story you have to share, any amount of time you have to give is enough.

What have you learned from your experience so far?

I have learned that we all have the power to share stories, act as ambassadors for Walk and the Alzheimer’s Association, and work towards a future without this disease.

Why is it important for people to get involved in the fight to end this disease?

The statistics are out there, and they are as sobering as they are terrifying. What we do now matters for us, those who will come after us, and those whose legacies we honor at Walk.

Helpful information related to this post: