Keeping Faith and Fun Through Alzheimer’s Journey

“When you are a person of faith, you know and believe that God walks with us,” says Mike Queen of Wilmington, North Carolina. “God is with us in the celebration of life and the heartache of life…our faith didn’t change because of this diagnosis, and it won’t change as we go through it.” Mike Queen’s wife, Bobbie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in February of 2020 and changed the trajectory of their future plans.

Mike and Bobbie Queen are selfless, life-long lovers of 52 years who cherish their family and treasure time spent traveling. Mike is a retired pastor from Wilmington’s First Baptist Church and Bobbie is retired from a widely known career in the business community. Bobbie is an animal lover, so it was only fitting that their most recent international trip was to Africa. She fulfilled a lifelong dream of going on an African safari. In addition to traveling overseas, they have been traveling all over the country since her diagnosis. Specifically, they have attended concerts by groups like Chicago and the Rolling Stones. After receiving Bobbie’s diagnosis, it was very important to her and Mike that they keep living and doing things that bring them joy.

Mike and Bobbie’s loved ones began to notice Bobbie’s condition when she became especially forgetful at work and at home. She was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in February 2019, then she got the progressed diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease in February 2020. Bobbie said, “It was a jolt to the system.”

“When I pray daily, I don’t pray for this to go away. I just pray that I will be able to do this and accept it and do it with dignity,” says Bobbie. “I don’t want to hide this. I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s a disease. We need to model to our family and friends that it is that, and we’re gonna do what we can to live with it and to fight against it.”

After completing a savvy caregiver class at Lower Cape Fear Life Care, Mike received an email from them about the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Wilmington. He immediately thought that could be a meaningful way for him and Bobbie to get involved in the fight for a cure and to make some of their friends aware of what was going on. Bobbie thought it was a great idea, and so they joined Lower Cape Fear Life Care’s Walk team. Then, Mike sent an email out to some friends in an attempt to do a little fundraising. He set a goal of $5,000, and ended up raising over $10,000 in less than 48 hours. Since then, they have exceeded $19,000. This will be their first time participating in a Walk, and so they are very excited to be joined by family and friends on November 6 at Wrightsville Beach Park.

“I may not be able to drive anymore,” says Bobbie. “And there are a lot of things I can’t do especially on my own anymore, but if I can help other people through this, then I will have done something that’s been worthwhile.”

To learn more about the Queens’ journey, catch a recent interview with the couple on Fox Wilmington/WECT News HERE.

LIKE MIKE AND BOBBY, WE ALL HAVE A REASON TO FIGHT FOR A WORLD WITHOUT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. Join your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s today.

The Alzheimer’s Association hosts 17 walks across North Carolina. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association® mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.

We’re moving forward with plans to host the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® in person this fall. We are planning every Walk with the health and safety of our constituents, staff and volunteers as our top priorities. All events will implement safety protocols including physical distancing, masks (where required), contactless registration, hand sanitizing stations and more. We will continue to closely monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to recommendations and are safe for attendees, as well as offer options to participate online and in your neighborhood.

2021 NORTH CAROLINA WALK DATES

Alamance County – 9.25.21
Asheville – 10.9.21
Charlotte – 10.23.21
Fayetteville – 10.30.21
Gaston/Cleveland/Lincoln – 10.9.21
Guilford County – 10.16.21
Henderson County – 9.25.21
Hickory – 10.31.21
Iredell County – 9.25.21
Jacksonville – 10.16.21
Moore County – 9.25.21
Mount Airy – 9.18.21
New Bern – 10.23.21
Rowan-Cabarrus – 10.30.21
Triangle – 10.9.21
Wilmington – 11.6.21
Winston-Salem – 11.6.21

Where there’s a Walk, there’s a way.


GUEST BLOGGER:
Juliana Morehouse
Juliana is a recent graduate of the College of Charleston who got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association during her high school years. She has done many walks, organized a bowling tournament fundraiser, spent time in nursing homes, and now utilizes her writing and speaking abilities as a Community Educator and a writer for the Association. Juliana lost her aunt and her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease, so she hopes to contribute to finding a cure, spreading awareness about the disease, and providing resources for caregivers.

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