It’s time to lace my cleats up for my 6th season with BvB Dallas and raising money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s! I am so excited and honored to be back out on that field with such a remarkable organization. I have the pleasure to participate this summer not only as a player but as Fundraising Chair for the second year.
Over the last six years that I have participated in BvB, I have learned more about myself as an individual than I have ever known, and this is because of who I have had the pleasure of playing beside and surrounding myself with since joining BvB in 2016. These ladies and gentlemen are some of the most extraordinary people with the biggest hearts and such inspiring and heartfelt stories. Each summer I work hard to spread the knowledge of the effects of Alzheimer’s while trying to open the eyes of people who just might not fully understand how Alzheimer’s actually effects people, not just the people with the disease but their caretakers and families.
Let’s take this back to when I first joined BvB back in 2016. I really hadn’t seen or known anyone with any ties to Alzheimer’s. I knew people involved in BvB and I originally join for the football aspect, and Alzheimer’s just kind there in the background. It wasn’t until my second year of BvB that I learned that three of my four grandparents had been affected by Alzheimer’s, they have since passed. This was an eye opener for me, like WOAH, this is a lot closer to home than I ever expected.
During my third year, the effects of Alzheimer’s took an even bigger hit on my heart, as my bestfriend’s Mam-Maw had been diagnosed and passed away from Alzheimer’s. She was always a joy to be around, always made everyone smile, continuously held her home open to everyone, and made the best damn nachos ever!! Even though I wasn’t related by blood she always treated me as another granddaughter. As Alzheimer’s played with her memory, she was no longer the sharpest person she once had been when it came to remembering everyone’s name and who they were but she ALWAYS remembered her late son’s schnauzer, Nellie Girl. As she began to decline more and more, I could tell how it was affecting all those near and dear to her heart. It was heartbreaking to see such an ugly disease take one of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Always cherish and love those close to your heart because one day they may no longer be able to remember.
Every year BvB I participate in Alzheimer’s, the whole situation sinks deeper and deeper into my soul. I play for all those who cannot play and fight for themselves, for all those families who have lost their most prize possessions. I play because I want to find a cure, so no one has to feel this pain again. One of the hardest things you will ever have to do, is grieve the loss of a person who is still alive.
Grammer and Grandpa Winchester, Grandma Jane Tejes, Glenda “Mam-Maw” Juricek, and everyone else…THIS IS WHY I PLAY! 🏈💙🌟