Hello - my name is William Bohnak. I am from Cuyahoga Falls, OH. My grandmother, Mary Kathryn Housiaux, died when I was only 15 years old from a terrible disease - Alzheimer's. She was a loving, caring, and compassionate person to everyone she met. When she was diagnosed with the disease, her life as well as mine was changed forever. I could not stand to see my grandma change her style of living. On this page you can see how the disease physically affected her. At the end, she didn’t even know who my mother was let alone her grandchildren. Every holiday season brings back how she had changed. My mother has a collection of the ‘annual Christmas picture” – a tradition all of us grandchildren “suffered” through to which I am eternally grateful for now. Although this disease seemed to escalate for my grandmother at the end, there are many people who suffer through this longer than she did.
Five years after her death I graduated from Fortis College in Cuyahoga Falls, with an Associate's Degree in Applied Sciences of Criminal Justice, but before I start my career in that field I have decided to honor my grandmother's memory by organizing my own charity entitled "A Journey for the Memories". This fundraiser would be like no other event you have ever witnessed. I decided to devote a year and a half of my life to travel the United States on foot to do my best to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s and raise money for research. I started in my hometown on August 1st and as of Thanksgiving 2011; I have traveled through 12 states. I have always had a love of travel and history so I figured I could fulfill two goals of my life at the same time.
My departure date was the first day of August of this year, and I figured I would end back in my hometown before the end of 2012. To date, I have met some wonderful people who have helped me in obtaining my goal as well as witness some great events. In Philadelphia, I witnessed Hurricane Irene and would actually see some of her damaging effects several weeks later when I walked through the New England states. I also was present for the September 11th ceremonies in New York City and helped partake in America’s love for its country. I participated in the Plymouth, Massachusetts Walk to End Alzheimer’s thae same weekend that my family and team members participated in the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio one. Fall took me through the New England states for its beautiful color and holiday celebrations although an early snow ruined Sleepy Hollows holiday events. I am now heading to the south for the winter along the east coast.
I would like people to follow me on my website, www.ajourneyforthememories.com as well as on The Journey for the Memories face book page and twitter. Many of the photos I have taken are on face book as well as a big thank you page dedicated to those who have helped me along the way. Besides making donations on this page directly to the NYC Alzheimer’s Association, donations can be made on my website to help me continue with my goal. The remaining portion of that will also be sent directly to the Alzheimer’s Association upon my completion.
Please help me stop Alzheimer’s – one step at a time.