JESUP, Iowa (KWWL) — On Sunday, daughter of Betsy McDougall, Abbie Schrader, hosted a golf tournament and 5K walk for her mom to fundraise for the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.
“It’s surreal. Going into it, it’s just very humbling to know how many people cared, and how many people stepped up to help us,” Schrader said.
‘Battle For Betsy’ brought long-time family friends, committees, sponsors, and silent auction donators fundraising to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
“I can’t help my mom right now, but she would want us to do whatever we can to help future people,” Schrader said.
Alzheimer’s Association event, The Longest Day, has helped Schrader’s family focus on something positive while battling the devastating disease that Betsy was diagnosed with five years ago.
Betsy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 58, and is now 63, living in a memory care facility where she experienced a rapid decline due to Covid setbacks.
“Last year she was able to be here with us, but this year she’s not able to be here,” Schrader said.
Alex Schaake, a University of Iowa graduate about to launch his pro career teed off the tournament, to show his support.
“This is amazing, my mom texted me, called me on the phone 2 weeks ago asking me to do this event, I immediately said yes” Schaake said.
Schaake’s grandmother is Betsy’s sister and also has Alzheimer’s, along with more than sixty six thousand other Iowans who are living with dementia today.
“This is about them, and helping them get one step closer to getting their cure too,” Schrader said.
Eighty eight people played in the the golf tournament, which was then followed by a 5K walk where participants were able to sign a loved one’s name on a flag.
Golf is a favorite past time of Betsy’s to play with her husband, Dan McDougall.
“It brings back a lot of good memories,” McDougall said. We had a lot of good times Friday and Saturday nights out here with friends, and it’s something I remember and that what I want to remember is the good times, not the bad. She’s my sweetheart.”
And if Betsy could be at the fundraiser today, McDougall said she would tell everyone to, “Have a good time.”
The ‘Battle for Betsy’ event also coincides with Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month® in June.
The Longest Day is a do-it-yourself fundraiser to shine a light on the more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and the more than 11 million family members and friends providing care and support.
Participants will use their creativity and passion to raise critical funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association® care, support and research programs.
Schrader and her family are grateful to The Longest Day and Alzheimer’s Association for helping raise $22,000 and more for the pursuit of a cure to end Alzheimer’s Disease.
Schrader also encourages everyone to find a cause they’re passionate about and to get involved with fundraising and bringing awareness to it.
To donate to ‘Battle For Betsy,’ CLICK HERE.