East Bay Walker Pam Montana Shares Her Journey
Danville resident Pam Montana was diagnosed in 2016 with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. She recently retired from her job at Intel to focus full-time on finding a cure, advocating for funding and raising awareness of the Alzheimer’s epidemic, especially as it affects women. She and her husband Bob Linscheid are active advocates for the cause. Pam writes about their efforts in her blog “My Journey with Alzheimer’s.” Today she shares an excerpt from that blog about why she walks:
I can feel the seasons changing, especially in the morning when it’s cool and crisp. At least that’s what the past few days have been like. I love the cool mornings that warm up and morph into mild afternoons. Today on my walk I was chilly in the shade and warm in the sun…..a good warm, not the hot sweaty heat that we’ve had most of the summer here in Northern California.
I also was informed yesterday by my neurologist that walking is EXTREMELY beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s. We ran into her at UCSF in the lobby of the building where I have my clinical trial infusions. As I’ve said before, there’s no such thing as a coincidence! I love this amazing woman. She is down to earth and as brilliant as they come. She is involved in the Alzheimer’s research that UCSF is doing and asked us almost immediately if we had been walking. The answer was yes, we walk quite often actually. When we asked her why, she started talking about the research that she and her colleagues have been doing regarding Alzheimer’s and the effects walking has. They have found some correlation and benefit from walking, just walking, not running, not biking, not rowing or doing other cardio activity. I’m assuming it has something to do with balance and keeping upright but we didn’t have time to get into anything specific.
I was happy but somewhat surprised. I started rowing a few months ago and felt like maybe I should be biking, and doing more work on the elliptical. I have been walking for years but thought maybe another form of cardio would be good for me. I am so happy with this news! It makes things easier. We can walk anywhere😊 In any country, in any weather, in any city. For some reason this is a big relief for me and that’s why I’m sharing it with you. I’m also not suggesting you should follow her recommendation, I’m just putting it out there as ‘food for thought’ and something you might want to talk to your doctor about.
This is also Alzheimer’s Walk season. We initially signed up to raise money and attend four walks. As the months wore on and our schedules got busy, we made a tough decision to only participate in two. We did four walks last year but it was the first year of my diagnosis and two of the walks were created for me by friends and co workers. I also had more energy last year and Bob was not working full time. Four is just too many now and I am relieved and happy that we made the right decision to slow down. We have a good group walking with us in Walnut Creek and are building our team down in San Luis Obispo.
I’m excited and am looking forward to both of them. I’m also extremely grateful for all the donations I’ve received from my friends and family. Thanks to all of you, I’ve raised over $6000 towards my $8000 goal for the Walnut Creek walk. And, our amazing team “Buni’s Buddies” has raised almost $10,000! I’m grateful beyond words for your generosity!!
I reached another milestone this month. My blog has over 30,000 unique views! I am hopeful that those with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia are benefiting from my journey, trials and tribulations. I also hope all the caregivers and care partners out there are finding it helpful. I will keep blogging as long as I can. Sharing my story, my journey, my ups and my downs. There is no shame in this disease and I’m not afraid to talk about how difficult things are for me now.
If you would like to walk with us in Walnut Creek or donate to help us find a cure, here is the link: Buni’s Buddies aka Pam’s Walnut Creek Walk No amount is too small, every dollar helps!
God bless you all. Thank you for your continued support and I hope you have a chance to walk soon, and enjoy the cooler weather.
Count your blessings and please pray for those who have been effected by the hurricanes, floods, natural disasters and the most recent earthquake in Mexico.
Helpful Information Related to this Post:
I met you at an early onset Alzheimers forum in Lafayette. I sat next to you when we switched to the small groups. We talked about attending the Dale Bredesen lecture at the Commonwealth Club. My name is Susan Cortis.
I see Amy Kau at UCSF and wondered if this was the doctor you were talking about in the above article.
I have been practicing, for a short time, the Bredesen protocol with the help of a doctor in Marin. Have many more changes to make; however, before I see Dr. Kau in July. Would enjoy visiting with you more. I live in Orinda and could meet you half way for coffee or even a walk!
Hope you are doing well-Susan
Hi Susan – I passed along your message to Pam. 🙂