As June Widrig was in her final years, she and her family had a weekly tradition: dinner at Chili’s every Sunday.
She was in her 70s, battling Alzheimer’s and deteriorating, but the weekly moment gave her family an important sense of levity, no matter how fleeting.
Today, more than five years after she died, June’s 21-year-old grandson Ethan Widrig has a new tradition in her memory: this one is daily, and it’s meant to support not just those battling Alzheimer’s, but also the families and caregivers who are so often the disease’s unspoken victims.
Every day since Aug. 26, Widrig, a senior at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has run a 5K. And he plans to run a 5K every single day until Dec. 3. That’s 100 days of 3.1-mile runs. He’s sticking with it to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, a nonprofit founded in 2002 to both fund Alzheimer’s research and provide services and support to caregivers. His initial fund-raising goal is $2,000.
“Hopefully the snow holds off until after Dec. 3,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I can’t miss a day. So the cause keeps me focused.”
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