Ben and Elaine Gioseffi of Greece see the end of Alzheimer’s disease in research.
After Elaine was diagnosed with the disease in 2005, she and her husband joined a local Alzheimer’s study. A couple of years later, they joined the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“Realizing that research is going to be a future key, we thought that organizing a walk (team) and raising some money and with the money going toward Alzheimer’s research would be a positive effort on our part,” says Ben.
“There’s not much more you can do. There is no cure,” he says. “We’re doing the best we can with the preventative measures that are available. But we do feel that by participating both in the Walk and in the research project, it may help our children and our grandchildren, as well as others.”
Ben says MEG’s Team — about 20 family members and friends — is named in honor of his wife, whose full name is Marie Elaine Gioseffi. They will be at the Walk in Corn Hill on Oct. 13, and Ben says they have an ambitious goal of raising $2,250.
This year for the first time, Ben plans to use Facebook to reach out to their friends, who have supported the Gioseffis in so many ways.
They take Elaine to lunch, to go shopping and to her bridge club. She still sings with the Greece Choral Society, and she and Ben play golf — usually couples scotch — when they can.
Keeping those social connections is important, Ben says.
“Even though there might not be extensive communication with Elaine to others, she hears and she sees and she participates, and I think that takes her out of the home element and puts her back into the real world,” he says.
“We could put ourselves in the home cocoon but I don’t believe that that would be either productive or assist in any way in dealing with the Alzheimer’s problem.”
Ben and Elaine, who raised four children, stay active with their 10 grandchildren. “We try to follow them around as much as we can. They’re all athletes,” Ben says.
And they are planning to take a Hawaiian cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year.
“You’ve got to make the best of it,” Ben says. “You can’t roll over and give up. That’s not our style.”