From Marti's Donation Page:
Alzheimer's has been a part of my family's life for over 20 years. When I was 7 years old I moved to NYC to live with my Abuelita Martina, my maternal grandmother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in her early 60s.
My Abuelita lived a very active life; she walked everywhere and went to the gym 4-5 times a week for weight training and cardio. I believe this is a huge reason why she was able to keep her Alzheimer's at bay for so long. In the last five years, her health has deteriorated. Her right knee developed severe arthritis which slowed her down and made it so she was not able to go to the gym anymore. Her Alzheimer's has also reared it's ugly head. Before, she would have moments of confusion, or she would lose her place but now, this is our every day reality. While she remembers us on most days, there are times when I speak to her that she is not sure who I am. This is the most heartbreaking thing I have ever had to deal with. Through it all, my Abuelita has not lost her personality. We still joke about finding her a new boyfriend, about how cute her doctors are or about when I'm finally going to go do my hair. Alzheimer's might be able to take her mind, but it will never take her spirit