Coming up this Saturday is an event that is very close to my heart, and I hope you'll support the cause!

Part of the Point team in 2011. (Laurie Cataldo)

The Walk to End Alzheimer's returns to Point Pleasant Beach this Saturday at the corner of Baltimore and Arnold Avenues. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m., and the walk itself starting at 10 a.m.

This year I'm honored to be the Alzheimer's Association's special guest during the opening ceremony. (Though I'm slightly terrified to do it, as I fully expect to be overly emotional and in tears by the end of my speech.)


With Grandma Fran at my college graduation in May 2007. (Laurie Cataldo)

I do this walk every year, not only to represent the Point, but in honor of my grandmother, Fran Esposito. She died in March 2008 from complications related to dementia, and watching her decline both physically and mentally over the course of several years is something I will never be able to forget, and never want anyone else to ever experience.

Alzheimer's is typically thought of as something that just robs patients of their memory...but it generally also causes mood swings, aggression, and eventually, a complete loss of bodily functions, ending in death.

Alzheimer's is the kind of disease that takes over an entire family too. I remember my mom spending every moment she could trying to care for my grandmother, all while working AND caring for her own family. It was taxing for her in every sense of the word, and though I obviously know WHY she did it, I honestly don't know HOW she did it.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, and I walk in the hope of changing that. The money raised goes towards the Alzheimer's Association and their research and support efforts.

I urge you to start your own team (or join mine!) or make any donation you will all go a long way in the fight against Alzheimer's.