Alzheimer's is the most common cause of irreversible dementia and is marked by confusion, memory loss, impaired judgment, and disorientation. According to the 2010 Alzheimer's Association report, there are an estimated 5.3 million people living with this disease, and by 2050 that number is expected to jump to 16 million.
While researchers continue to search for a cure, sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease and their family members take comfort in services that help them efficiently manage this progressive, degenerative disorder. At the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County (AASC), that management includes respite care, support groups, and Project Lifesaver, which provides rapid response in locating and returning Alzheimer's patients who have wandered from their home.
AASC programs operate on limited funds, but, thanks to fundraising support, the Alliance can continue to offer their vital services. For the ninth consecutive year, Mah Jongg for Memory, which is organized by the Alzheimer's Support Auxiliary for People (ASAP), will return to Tyler. This fundraising event, to be held on Thursday, July 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Willow Brook Country Club, will include a silent auction of arts and entertainment items and travel.
Katie Craddock, a member of ASAP, has been a sponsor of Mah Jongg for Memory since its inception. Mrs. Craddock will be providing a bracelet from her jewelry store, Katie’s, to each Mah Jongg for Memory participant, and Mrs. Craddock will assist with securing silent auction items for the event.
Mrs. Craddock’s mother-in-law passed away from Alzheimer’s disease and the family witnessed firsthand how devastating it can be. It is because of this personal experience that Mrs. Craddock is dedicated in her support of Alzheimer’s research and of the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County.
Born in Jennings, Louisiana, Mrs. Craddock has lived in Tyler for 42 years. She is a graduate of South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas. Mrs. Craddock earned her bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler. She and her husband of 41 years, William, are the parents of three adult sons, Chris, Cavan, and Cameron. Mrs. Craddock is a member of Colonial Hills Baptist Church.
“I believe that volunteerism is a vital ingredient of life today, and the spirit of caring is prominent in Tyler. This is a town where citizens want to better their world and are willing to work to make that possible,” Mrs. Craddock said.
For more information about Mah Jongg for Memory, contact the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County at 903-509-8323 or visit www.alzalliance.org.