This letter was written to Alena Sharp who held the 5th Annual Alena Sharp Charity Classic to benefit the Alzheimer's Society of Hamilton, Halton and Brant on August 3, 2010.
My name is Joe Parker and I am currently serving in the U.S. Army. Five years ago while I was deployed to Iraq, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As she was in her mid-50's at the time of her diagnosis, it was a shock to all of us in the family. I have struggled with it, as each time I've been deployed I lose her more and more.
This last time I was deployed, I picked up a magazine and read a little blurb about your tournament and wanted to thank you for what you did and continue to do by helping generate awareness of such a horrible disease.
Upon my return, I began to play golf again seriously and currently hold a six handicap. My "caddie" is my mother, who enjoys riding in the cart along with me, but I'm afraid next year she won't be able to accompany me as she now requires total dependent care.
One of my favorite memories of my mother is when I three-putted for triple bogey on a hole. I was extremely frustrated and angry, and when the putt finally went in, my mother cheered like I had just sunk a birdie putt at Augusta National. I still cry when I think about it.
I just wanted to thank you for giving me the idea to take my mother with me. I wouldn't have had those memories if it weren't for you.
Best of luck to you in your career. Please continue to help generate awareness/money for research. Even if it doesn't look like it, people do notice and it does matter to us.
If you have a positive story to tell, feel free to email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be posted in the For the Love of the Fans section.