Name: Andrew Brackins, OMS-III
Hometown: Prattville, AL
Prior degree(s): BS, Mechanical Engineering and Bible, Harding University
Tell us about the Ride to End ALZ:
The Ride takes place every summer and takes riders from Greenville, SC, to Charleston, SC over the course of 3 days. By participating in Ride to End ALZ, riders are accelerating the Association’s research efforts to discover methods of treatment and prevention for Alzheimer’s and other dementias — while also maximizing care and support for all facing the disease.
Why did you get involved in the bike ride?
My wife’s grandmother (“Grandma”) suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for several years before it ultimately took her life. Those later years were brutally difficult for her husband (“Grandpa”) and children as they became caretakers of the woman who had nurtured them their entire lives. I can remember hearing stories about how Grandma would wake up in the middle of the night and call the police claiming there was an intruder in her bed when in reality it was Grandpa.
Because of Grandma’s battle, my wife and I have donated regularly to the Alzheimer’s Association ever since we have been married. Last year, I heard about the Ride to End ALZ from a local cycling club and immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it.
As an avid cyclist, the challenge of riding 252 miles in 3 days intrigued me. But what I discovered during my first experience with the ride last year was the intense connection and camaraderie I formed with several of the participants. Each mile afforded opportunities to hear stories about mothers, fathers, friends, and grandparents who had been impacted by Alzheimer’s. There was even a rider last year who was participating with a recent diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. By the time the group of 400+ people reached the South Carolina coast, we had raised over $725,000 and forged a bond that would beckon us to return in 2022 to raise the bar even higher.
What you hope to accomplish by participating in this year’s ride?
This year, I’m looking to raise at least $750 as an individual, which will help us reach the ultimate goal of $800,000. The Alzheimer’s Association is well known for being a major research supporter, and funds from this event will certainly be allocated for ongoing study. However, my passion lies in helping to support the thousands of people who are primary caregivers for those living with Alzheimer’s. Many people don’t know that the Alzheimer’s Association provides respite care for friends and family of Alzheimer’s patients, and it’s events like Ride to End ALZ provide the necessary funds for these compassionate and meaningful services.
Each year that I ride, I hope to provide hope and encouragement to caregivers and to call attention to the amazing, selfless service that they are providing.
How can others get involved?
If you would like to help support Alzheimer’s Caregivers and further research focused on curing this horrible disease, please consider donating at the link provided below.
If you cycle and would like to join, consider signing up for the ride!
I’m happy to answer any questions, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org