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An Ottumwa family’s Mother’s day gift is a fight to end Alzheimer’s disease every year

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 10:06 AM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - I’m sure many of us lose our minds every year worrying about what’s the best present to get mom for Mother’s Day. Whether it’s the best macaroni art or her favorite pair of flowers for the 5th time in a row.

One local Ottumwa woman says there’s no better present than the present time.

Robin Turner says her mom has had Alzheimer’s for about 20 years and saw it coming due to the disease running in her family.

“We knew what was going on because of her dad. My grandpa had Alzheimer’s, so we knew what was ahead. She knew what was ahead. She knew what was going to happen eventually. She would be really sad and had moments where she’d cry a lot. She’d say I don’t mean to cry and we’d say no it’s fine, you’re normal.”

Robin’s mother Mary Alice lived with her up until a recent turn of events which led her to be placed in a nearby facility.

“One day she took off for a walk and apparently we didn’t know this because we were at work. She got a ride from a stranger because she didn’t know how to get back.

Now Mary Alice is safely placed in a living facility in Pella Iowa and Robin and her two sisters have begun a walk to end Alzheimer’s called Mary’s Mission each year to honor their mother.

“It’s sad to see your family member go through it and if we could save someone else’s family member that’d be awesome.”

One special person named Alice, whos named after her great grandmother Mary Alice, is someone who Robin says she’s also doing the walks for so that she doesn’t have to deal with this one day as well.

According to the Alzheimers Association, nearly 2/3 of more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women.

To learn more on how you can support Robin and her family or other families like hers visit alz.org/iowa.

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