MISSOULA - One foot in front of the other for 55 miles in one day — that’s what Jeff Twohig is doing to raise money for Alzheimer’s.
“I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s. I lost [another] one to cancer and I feel like the one I lost to Alzheimer’s, I lost more than once. You lost him in physical body but [then] he didn’t know who I was at the end,” he shared
Since January, Twohig has been training for a 55-mile single-day push through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He’s been carrying a heavy pack and walking hills for hours.
Twohig was inspired by his grandfather, others he knows who have or have passed from the disease, and the Japanese ritual of misogi which involves pushing yourself to your limits for self-growth.
Twohig's walk through the Bob Marshall is also symbolic in many ways. He’s walking on the summer solstice — the longest day of the year — for a reason.
“I’m trying to do my walk on the longest day and it’s kind of symbolic of when you have Alzheimer’s or are caring for Alzheimer’s, every day is the longest day.”
Each day living with Alzheimer's is different and can bring about many difficulties for both the person with the disease and the caregiver.
Additionally, 55 miles symbolizes his age.
He's hiking solo in a remote area so he can push through hardship without a way to quit since those dealing with Alzheimer’s can’t just give up when things get hard either.
As a financial advisor, Twohig has seen the ways Alzheimer's drains his clients financially, emotionally, and physically.
“Over time, people sometimes will get paranoid or untrustworthy and even angry. And then at the end of the disease, towards the end, when they really just don’t really have any concerns and memory’s gone, their stress goes away, they become almost childlike and very repetitive and that’s very hard on caretakers," he explained.
To support Jeff’s walk go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeff-Twohig