Ann Marie Hussey to walk ‘in remembrance’

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

On Saturday, Ann Marie Hussey of Troy will once again walk and remember.

Not that Hussey would ever forget her dad, the late Ray Hickman. She thinks of him every day. She thinks of the man he was. She thinks of the child he became.

Hickman was a victim of Alzheimer’s.

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“I remember my dad when he was strong, active and involved,” Hussey said “I remember him when he could not dress himself or feed himself. I remember him when he didn’t know who I was. That’s what Alzheimer’s does to its victims and those who love them. I lost my dad twice, once to Alzheimer’s and again to death.”

Hussey has been a participant in “A Walk to Remember” every year since her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Some years she walked as a team member. Some years she walked alone.

“It only matters that I walk,” she said.

The 25th Anniversary of “A Walk to Remember” will be Saturday at Westgate Park in Dothan. The walk is to benefit the Alzheimer’s Resource Center, which Hussey said played such an important role in helping her and her family cope with her dad’s disease.

“When my dad was diagnosed, I knew very little about Alzheimer’s,” she said. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what to do or how to do. The Alzheimer’s Resource Center was the place I could go to find answers to my questions and help me and my family find ways to help my dad.”

Hussey said the Alzheimer’s Resource Center helps family caregivers stay up to date with the disease by providing them with the latest information about Alzheimer’s as well as the latest techniques for caring for their love ones.

“When someone you love has Alzheimer’s, there are days when you don’t know which way to turn or where to look,” Hussey said. “But, there is always someone at the Alzheimer’s Resource Center that you can look to. They understand what you are going through and they are there to help. I cannot express what the center meant to me and my family and I can never say thank you enough.”

The 2017 Alzheimer’s Walk is a one, two or three mile walk-a-thon to benefit the Alzheimer’s Resource Center.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to Hussey’s team, may do so by contacting her at 334-566-1819 or by mail to the Alzheimer’s Resource Center, 1314 Westgate Pkwy, Suite 2, Dothan, AL 36303. Donations to the ARC may be made to Hussey’s team or in honor or memory of a loved one.

Hussey leads the Alzheimer’s Support Group that meets at noon on the first Thursday of the month at Troy Regional Medical Center. Lunch is provided. Those who have a family member or friend who is a victim of Alzheimer’s are invited to attend.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease of the brain that robs its victims of their memory and cognitive abilities. It is the sixth leading cause of death among adults.