John M. Ferrero, Jr.

Hello.  We are a group of friends consisting of four sisters, one cousin, and one neighbor.  Our Grandpa had Alzheimer’s ever since we were little.  He lived with it for 7 years before he passed away, on the morning of March 19th 2017.  For the first 6 years he lived with our Grandma.  It was very difficult for her and everyone else because we were slowly watching him forget everything he knew and loved.   Amazingly he never forgot who he was as a person, always giving, always sharing.  For the last few years prior to his going to a care facility he occupied himself by waving to strangers driving by his street corner.  His job had become sharing a smile and a wave.   That is how everyone knew him as the “man on the corner”.  People would stop and talk with him, often sharing a donut or other snack they learned he liked.  At his wake many people mentioned that they, and sometimes their parents, and others they knew drove by his corner purposely because it made them feel special and brightened their day.  He became so well known the local radio station’s morning team, Joe and Tina, mentioned him on their show, ‘that nice man on the street corner’.   He gave even as Alzheimer’s took him away from us.  Sadly he really didn’t know our names but he still enjoyed watching us play soccer on weekends. Cheering for the “blue” or the “red” team whatever weather.

After our Grandma physically couldn’t take care of him anymore he moved to Autumn Leaves of Crystal Lake. There he made some new friends and so did we!  We would go often to visit him and our other friends too.  For the first several months we tried, and sometimes succeeded, getting grandpa to get up and walk.  After awhile he started to rebel and we realized it was fruitless to continue to push him.  Our grandpa mostly preferred to watch tv and nap so we went and played with the other residents, sometimes our grandpa would join in. It made us sad because the man we knew was not who he had become.  After my grandpa passed we continue to visit our other friends at the home.  In honor of him, and them, we decided to drive for a cure though #ENDALZ. We love and miss him very much but know he is happier in heaven than he was here, suffering from Alzheimer’s. We are choosing to fight Alzheimer’s so that others do not have to experience the slow and painful death our Grandpa did.  We are holding a fundraiser on August 18th and 19th to help raise money to cure Alzheimer’s.  The car wash, lemonade stand, and bake sale will be held 11am to 4pm on August 18th at 4581 Princeton Ln, Lake In the Hills, IL  and 9am to 5pm on August 19th at 955 Wedgewood Dr., Crystal Lake, IL.

 

Please remember to create memories and cherish moments before it’s too late!