Climbing mountains for Alzheimer’s awareness
FORT COLLINS – When Alan Arnette first started climbing mountains, he was 38 years old, his knees strong and his mom busy making family scrapbooks. He climbed for himself, for the challenge of the trek, the thrill of the summit.”I just fell in love with mountain climbing,” he said over coffee before leaving Jan. 15 for Cerro Aconcagua, at 22,841 feet the highest mountain in South America. “It exposed my own perception of what my limits were. So often we limit ourselves because we just don’t think we can.”His first “big mountain” was Mont Blanc in the Alps. He squeezed in climbing trips around sustaining a marriage, raising a daughter and building a career with Hewlett-Packard.”So, fast-forward, my dad was really at the end of his life. I’m sitting at a restaurant talking to my mom – we knew she had some memory problems. I said ‘Mom, Dad may not come out of the hospital,’ and she said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ And then she said, ‘Now, who are you again?’ “He retired from HP and helped her move out of the house where she had lived for 55 years.”My mom made these wonderful picture albums, all the way back from the kid in the bathtub, through the first date in high school to college graduation. She was the memory keeper in the family,” he said.Ida Arnette died of Alzheimer’s disease Aug. 16, 2009, at 83. Her son was left wondering what he could do to bring more awareness to a disease that stole his mother’s memory and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/fitness/ci_17244933#ixzz1Cq0bjGX5
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