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Pilates for a Cause :: Movement for Memory

Fran Darnell will be teaching a Pilates mat class this coming Friday, July 19, 2013 at 7:30pm, at Studio 26, $20 suggested donation. All proceeds go towards the Junior Committee-NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.  I am teaching this Pilates for a Cause :: Movement for Memory class because I am committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease research, care and support.

I really did not know much about Alzheimer’s disease before my mom was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in 2008 and 2 years later early stage Alzheimer’s. At 70 years old she is now in the mid-stages of the disease. It makes me very sad to witness first-hand my mother's health slowly decline with this fatal disease for which at the moment there is no cure.

It is challenging not only for my mom, but also for my dad, as the love of her life, husband, and primary caregiver. It is very hard on our family and friends to witness my mom slowly lose her ability to recall who family members are and do basic every day things that we all take for granted. What is most painful is that we are not able to stop the progression of the disease, and the only thing that we can do is do our best to enrich her life and make sure she is comfortable and cared for.

Unfortunately for an estimated 5.4 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease, they are not able to advocate for their own health and needs.

I’m committed to help bring an end to Alzheimer’s disease. I am inspired to do what I can to give a brighter future to my mom, our family, and others that are touched by this devastating disease.

I have personally benefited so much from the outreach programs, support groups, and education that the Alzheimer's Association offers for the community nationwide. In particular I really appreciate the programming and efforts of the NYC Chapter.

I am a member of the Junior Committee of the Alzheimer’s Association-NYC Chapter. This group of young professionals has a desire to make a difference. They raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter and have an opportunity to choose how to allocate the funds they raise to projects, research and resources.

I am proud to be partnering with Studio 26 and the Junior Committee to create this Pilates for a cause event. This Movement for Memory came out of an experience I had earlier this year running the NYC half marathon with the Athletes to End Alzheimer’s team.

I joined the team to run and raise funds to bring an end to Alzheimer’s. I have run half marathons in the past, but this time was different. What I got from running for a cause was an incredible outlet to be able to physically express what I am experiencing, a decrease in stress, and a shift of my mindset. In my running to end Alzheimer’s I made a difference for myself and for others.

This inspired me to create this fitness event as an incredible way to make your workout mean more by attending a class where the proceeds help provide a brighter future for others. By taking care of yourself you are also helping take care of others.

I am so excited to help everyone connect to their core and together make a difference. It is amazing what you can do when you practice mindful movement. I really appreciate your support in helping find a way to change the course of this disease and raise the spirit of so many impacted.