She was there every morning, getting you ready for school, no matter how much you fussed. He was there, taking you to sports games and lifting your chin when the score didn’t pan out. She lent you her shoulder, the day you discovered that a first love isn’t usually your last. And although he never admitted it, he cried when he let go of your hand and gave you away to another man.
Jack and Pearl Mier were the epitome of devoted parents. Jack was a coast guard veteran and Pearl worked in the school cafeteria so she could spend more time with the kids. Their story is now Robin’s story – the story of Robin struggling to keep the memories of her parents alive. Robin walks to remember them.
Robin is a self-described daddy’s girl, which made it all the more devastating when Jack underwent open-heart surgery, resulting in two strokes. After this, Jack began showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away five short years later.
During the process of helping her mom, Pearl cope with Jack’s death, Robin began to notice her mother’s mind slipping. It came on much slower than Jack’s dementia, but eventually Robin and her three sisters had to accept the fact that their mother, too, had Alzheimer’s.
Robin, with help from her sister, took the role as caregiver to her mother. Robin cared for Pearl even after she’d forgotten who her daughters were; even after she’d forgotten herself; even after she’d forgotten how to eat, bathe or speak. Pearl lived with Alzheimer’s for seven years; she passed away just last year, in 2015.
Robin Sullivan walks for her mother AND her father. She walks for their legacy and to remember them. Most importantly, she walks so this doesn’t happen to future generations.
Robin Sullivan walks for the over 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s.