Get Involved with My Alzheimer’s Marathon

beaverdamusa.com, mark grissom, chicago cubsFirst of all, let me say great big CONGRATULATIONS to my Cubbies!

They have been winning a lot of games lately, and they have the best record of wins in the National League for the month of August 2014!

They even swept the series with the first place Milwaukee Brewers last week.

Now, as soon as I say all of that, watch and see if they don’t start losing every game.

That is the way it happens. That is why they are the Cubs!

My best friend in Chicago, Bill Matyskela, is a die-hard White Sox fan. I love Bill for every other reason other than baseball. We do NOT agree on baseball at all.

However, Bill’s dad, Mr. Matyskela as I like to call him, is just like me…a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs!

I have always liked the way Mr. Matyskela said it. To quote him, “The problem with the Cubs is…they are the Cubs.”

From his mouth to God’s ears! He is so right.

Enough about my team.

I have something very special coming up tomorrow that I would be remiss if I did not share in this week’s blog.

This is the second year in a row I have done this and I could not be more proud.

I host a morning radio show three times a week out of WOOP Radio Station in Cleveland, Tennessee. The call numbers are 99.9 on your FM dial.

(Of course we are such a low-wattage station that you have to actually be inside the parking lot of the radio station to receive the channel on your car tuner.)  Bad joke there…but almost correct.

The other option is to go to the World Wide Web and locate our station live streaming at www.woopfm.com.

This Thursday morning, beginning at 6:00 a.m., Eastern, I will be hosting for 27 hours straight on the radio the “Patty Grissom Memorial Alzheimer’s WOOP-A-THON.”

Last year we went 26 and half hours and raised a little over $15,000.

This year I am going to break the “on-air” time record by 30 minutes and I also hope to break the level of giving record as well.

This 27 hour marathon was named in memory of my mom, Patty Grissom, who passed away from Alzheimer’s/Dementia on December 14, 2010 at 4:56 a.m.

Yes, I know the exact time. I was standing at the foot of her bed and watched her take her last breath on this earth and her first breath in Heaven.

I, like many other folks, had no clue about Alzheimer’s or the affects it had on individuals until my mother was diagnosed.

It is a horrible, cruel disease and I am doing my part to help the Alzheimer’s Association and Doctors find a cure.

I am not the only one that will be staying up for 27 hours straight.

This year I have two great friends who will be joining me for the all day and all night into the next morning marathon.

Cindy Lowery is Vice-President of the Southeast Tennessee Alzheimer’s Association. Cindy was with me last year for the entire 26 and half hours of the marathon and has agreed to sign on once again for this year’s marathon.

A “newbie” to the Patty Grissom Memorial Alzheimer’s Marathon is my friend, Brian Graves.

Brian is a reporter for the Cleveland Daily Banner and is one of the most intelligent individuals I know. He is a great reporter and he has an incredible sense of humor. I am proud to call him my friend and I am really proud that he has volunteered to be on the air for 27 hours straight with Cindy and myself.

My usual Thursday-Friday co-hosts deserve a lot of credit as well. Jackie Rumble, aka “Mama Hazy” and Dr. Jay McCluskey, aka “Dr. Jay McCluskey”, will be putting in a lot of time on the show as well.

Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. we will be having a “Flash Mob Choir” of the Red Back Hymnal. We will be joining together in a large choir, filling the studio, and singing all the old hymns from the infamous Red Back Hymnal.

Followed by the Collins Brothers Band performing live on the main stage at the Village Green at 8:00 p.m.

Now, here is how you can get involved.

Please call the WOOP Radio Station on Thursday or Friday at 423-614-5553 and make your pledge. Or, if you live near in or near Cleveland, please come by the WOOP Studios and drop off your pledge in person.

I would love the opportunity to chat with you live on the air. And please mention you heard about the marathon from the blog on BeaverDamnUSA.com!

You can listen in Cleveland or surrounding area on 99.9FM or from anywhere in the world on www.woopfm.com live streaming.

In memory of the most incredible mom in the whole world, dedicated this year to Don Kaylor and the hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives to this cruel disease.

I love you, mom! Always and Forever!

Yours truly,

Your “little boy”, Mark

“Let’s Just Say I Had a Great Evening”

Loving the Cubs... and other problems I have Mark Grissom beaverdamusa.comI had a very nice dinner tonight…with a very nice young lady.

We talked about a lot of things. We talked about religion, work, and music…but mostly we talked about work.

I will not give her name or where she works. Although I am aware of the fact that most of you would LOVE to know that information.

Let’s just say…I had a great evening.

We found ourselves talking mostly about Alzheimer’s and the effect it has on the patient and the families. Many of my stories about my mom crossed-over into her stories about her patients.

She is a registered nurse and deals a lot with Alzheimer’s patients and the family members of those patients. As most of you already know, I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s December 14, 2010.

I miss her every single day of my life.

I do not want this blog to be about my mom…or her death. It makes me sad to talk about that. And…I have written a lot about her in the past.

No. This will be about “my date”.

I have been divorced for 3 and half years. I have been on many dates with different girls. Enjoyed most all of them. I have had, what I would call, two serious relationships since the break-up of my marriage.

I find it easier to talk about my divorce now than ever before.  I wish my ex-wife no ill will whatsoever. I wish her only the best in life. She is engaged to be married. I am happy for her.

Now…back to my date.

Lets just call this girl “J”.

“J” and I have a lot in common. We have the same beliefs in our faith. We both have a very strong work ethic and we are on-call most of the time. We enjoy eating out at nice restaurants. We both love to laugh. And, we both love all kinds of music.

Not a bad start for our first date.

But the one thing that attracts me to “J” more than anything…(besides the fact she is a beautiful person) is her love for the Alzheimer’s families.

She works with them on a daily basis. She knows all about the struggles of the patient…and the family members involved. She talked a lot about how she works so hard to make the patients “comfortable” and “at ease.” She works with them to help them maintain a daily routine and schedule that works for their individual needs. She keeps their families informed of everything going on in their lives and what the next step is for the patient.

She is incredible at what she does.

I tip my hat to “J” and to every single person in the medical field that works with Alzheimer’s patients. Their job is NOT easy at all! These patients can be very combative at times, say things that they never would have said before the onset of Alzheimer’s and just downright be mean and hateful.

However, they can also be very, very sweet and kind and if you catch them on a good day…they will carry on a conversation with you that will make you wonder is there anything even wrong with them.

I know all this. The reason why I know?…my mom had Alzheimer’s disease.

I say a great big “GOD BLESS YOU” to doctors, nurses, CNA’s, rehab specialist, LPN’s, hospice personnel and most of all…a great big thank you to the spouses and family members of Alzheimer’s patients.

I have no idea how my father was able to care for my mother as long as he did. He took care of her for many years, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. He never left her side. Even after we put mom in a nursing home facility, Dad was there every single day to care for her, feed her, change the linens on her bed and to the amazement of the staff of Signature Healthcare…even washed and dried her hair.

God Bless You, Dad. And May God Bless all of the individuals in this world who care for not only Alzheimer’s patients…but for all the long term care patients.

My mom never had the opportunity to meet “J”. I sure wished she had. She would have loved her. And “J” would have taken incredible care of my mom.

If you want to know what comes of “J”…you will have to hang around for future blogs.

Until next time…

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