Why 8News anchor Morgan Dean walks to end Alzheimer’s disease

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This month, 8News is sharing stories about why we are taking the lead on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in November.

8News anchor Morgan Dean is taking a trip down memory lane — a trip that his grandmother, more affectionately called “Gragum,” wasn’t able to do because she had dementia.

“It was sad to see her slip away.”

Morgan has enough good memories for the both of them, though.

“If you didn’t want dinner, she’d bring you out sugar cereal and she’d let you eat sugar cereal.”

From the time he was a baby, Gragum was there holding or hugging him, like after his high school graduation.

“I have very fond memories of all the fun that we’ve had and I’ve taken my kids to some of the spots that she took me,” Morgan said. “It’s just sad.”

Gragum’s journey with dementia began when Morgan was in his 20s. She loved to go walking in her neighborhood, but started getting confused and lost. Soon after, the family moved her into an assisted living home where Morgan would visit.

“Sometimes it was, ‘Hey Morgan, how are you?'” he recalled. “But sometimes it was, ‘Nice young man, do you want to walk with me?'”

And they would walk. Until one day, when Gragum fell and broke her hip. She had surgery, but because of the dementia she couldn’t remember what had happened and tried to get out of bed.

“She put pressure on this new hip and she fell and broke that hip. It was a couple months that she lingered and then she was gone.”

13 years later, the emotions are still raw.

“Just sad thinking about it, but I had great memories with her,” Morgan said.

Memories keeping Gragum alive.

That’s why Morgan walks to end Alzheimer’s. 8News invites you come out and join us in the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on November 7 at Innsbrook.

We will be walking with the Alzheimer’s Staff and Friends’ Walk Team. Visit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website to learn more about how you can take part.

Click here to find out more about Alzheimer’s Disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter.

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