I started running, on a bet, in 1978, at the first Run for the Zoo and, before the year was out, ran the Mayor Daley (now the Bank of America) Chicago Marathon. In 1979, I got more into running and after running in a number of events, ran the Montreal and Chicago Marathons in the span of 6 weeks with knee surgery needed shortly thereafter. After the surgery, I stopped running and became an avowed couch potato. My weight went from 150 at the time of my last Marathon to 265 pounds (see my photo in the photo gallery). In the late 1990¹s, my brother-in-law, Paul Bracken was diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer¹s and it affected me in a big way. I went out to Omaha, where he lived, and was unable to complete an Alzheimer¹s Memory Walk. Disgusted with myself, I went back to training and the following year returned to Omaha and RAN the Walk; the year after that I Ran the Walk twice. On August 16, 2001, I was planning to run my first race since 1978 - Race Judicata (a 5K benefiting the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services). Paul passed away that morning, and I ran that race in his memory. Since that time, every race that I have run has been in Paul¹s memory. In 2004, I turned 58, which was Paul¹s age when he passed away, and it was 25 years after my last Marathon. I entered the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team CARE (Conquering Alzheimer¹s Running Endeavor), and now the ALZ Stars, as a Marathon Fundraiser and have done so ever since. March 24th is my 70th birthday and on April 8th, Paul would have turned 73. As I run every race in Paul¹s memory, I have dedicated this year to his memory by running 73 races, including the Chicago Marathon, at the age of 70. This will be a difficult task, but if, as a member of the ALZ Stars, I can raise more awareness of this terrible disease and I can raise money for the Alzheimer¹s Association to assist in research and family support, the effort will be worthwhile. So, I am going #ALZIN to try to #ENDALZ.


About the Greater Illinois Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter serves 68 counties in Illinois with offices in Bloomington, Carbondale, Chicago, Joliet, Rockford and Springfield. Since 1980, the Chapter has provided reliable information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes. Learn more >>

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    8430 W Bryn Mawr
    Chicago, IL 60631