NEXT EVENT: 14 OCT - Race up Vesuvius

Fundraising #ForTheirThoughts!
Have fun for a great cause! *

Dear Sponsors 
Support the Run 
Join the Fight
Click on the Site :)

Dear Runners 

Registration Form

14 October @ 10am

Race Options: 
2k, 5k or 10k
Walk/run/crawl up Mt Vesuvius

Race Fee: 
€20/€15 (under 18)**

**Note: Race fee for is NATO to put on the race – covering the race administration and transportation.  Donation can be made thru

Registration Form
  • Fill out form and sign.
  • Send to Betsy Hall: by 7 October
  • Payment and race details will be emailed upon registration.  (20 euroes)
  • Ci Vediamo!!  See you on the race day!
DEADLINE to Register:
7 October 2015

*NOTE FOR RACE PARTICIPANTS: Team Dementia is independent of US Military or NATO.  Vesuvius Race is being put on by NATO and not affiliated directly with this team. Team Dementia, in parallel to the race, is joining together to run.  
If you would like to run the race on your own, please visit VesuviusRace2018 Facebook Page.  

RE donations: All proceeds go to UCSF Bluefield Project and their 21 institutes aggressively advancing research toward a cure.  The Bluefield Project is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible and our tax ID number is 27-2444495. for more information.

Ripples are getting BIGGER in 2018 - Race is On

One year ago, I woke up and posted this video: that I would run up a volcano every week to raise $100,000 for dementia: (love you, mom).  I had NO IDEA where that journey would take me or what I was getting myself into, but I knew as soon as I posted: forward was my only option. No matter how hard it would be... 

*Emotionally:* --
The runs forced me to relive my mother’s dementia—stripped from her were words, ability to read, write, talk, bath or dress herself, walk, and eventually to eat or swallow… – it broke me to relive it, I questioned why I was doing it…there is a lump in my throat even writing this….but remembering my mom’s loss of words  gave me strength to find mine and fight for what she couldn’t.  ~WE need to be the voices of our loved ones that can’t fight for themselves!~

*Physically* -- 
Blisters and muscle aches forced me to push my limits further than I ever have before, and now I’ve run two marathons and am training for my first ultra (46 miles). 
*Mentally* --
The things I didn't know...campaigning, hours of training, social media, making videos,  (You all had to teach me Instagram and how to use a GoPro -- I held and shot sideways for the first two runs...).  And that full time job thing kept taking up daylight... But in the end, I learned to embrace the true meaning of time management, **mental strength** and youtube tutorials. 

But most importantly: it brought me back to the present and to be grateful for every moment of every day.

Asking for help makes me incredibly uncomfortable…but in doing so, it brought me closer to friends and family, like my cousin Diane and Joe, as they now stand by their father’s side battling Alzheimer’s. 

I took this crazy goal on by myself ...but too quickly learned I was and AM NOT alone!
+36 people joined the climbs. 
+54 regular people contributed to successfully reaching the first milestone of $10,000 in just 6 months. 
+100s reached out with words of comfort, encouragement, shared the videos on social media…
+Dozens shared their own dementia journey’s with loved ones…
I learned so much about my own mental and physical strength, but more importantly, 

****how empowering love and support of a community really is****

And I’m going to take that love and support (and fear of failing you) and use it as my fuel to keep going. 

At the end of October/Early November – I welcome you to join the For Their Thoughts Vesuvius Team for our organized climb (walk or run) up Mt Vesuvius -- either in person or remotely.   Tickets will be sold here: 

"For Their Thoughts," thanks to your support and confidence, will become a formal Non-Profit for dementia by 2019– proceeds continuing to go to research for a cure plus help for current caregivers,

That $100,000 I proclaimed to achieve one year ago IS achievable and WILL happen.   For my mother’s thoughts. For my nieces and nephews thoughts.  For the millions and millions of our loved ones suffering and those that inevitably will if we don't do something.  FOR THEIR THOUGHTS.  FOR OUR THOUGHTS.  We will do this.  Thank you.    



Firsts: Originally Posted EASTER 2013

Hold the door say please say thank you
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

HAPPY EASTER to you all! 
HAPPY 8th  BIRTHDAY to my niece, Emmagene 
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Dad and Mom.   

I could be sad she's gone but instead I'm so grateful everything she's given me; including the reminder of how precious and beautiful every moment is. 

I originally posted this 5 years ago - the first Easter after my mom passed.
It seemed fitting, being my parents' anniversary, to post it again.  

Every moment is a first.  Let's live in the present today and experience whatever first is today for you.


2013: "Eg" (Emmagene/grandaughter, 3) hunts for Eggs!

2013: Josh (grandson, 19mts) dyes his first easter egg with Mom (Megan)

2013: Lily: "Emmys!! what you got in there?"

Every moment is a first.  But then again, every moment is a last. I could go on about how this is the first Easter in 35+ years my dad is not with my mom.  Tomorrow - April 1st - is their Anniversary-- their 35th Anniversary.  Tomorrow, for the first time, my dad will not celebrate with her. 

But this Easter is also, for so many, your child’s first Easter or first Easter with your wife/husband or maybe the first time you've hosted the dinner.  First time in a new house?  Or on the other end of the spectrum, first time you had to work this holiday and could not make it home or to the family gathering.

For us, it is the first Easter since Mom passed.  But yesterday was the first March 30th we spent without her and tomorrow will be the first April 1st since her passing.  My cousin, Shelli, recently lost her 43 year old husband to brain cancer.  It is her first Easter as a widow.  But his organs were donated and saved 6 lives.  Six people will, for the first time in a long time, have hope this Easter because of Shane.  SIX!!

“Firsts” are what you make them out to be.  Do I miss Mom today?  Absolutely.  But I missed her yesterday and I will miss her tomorrow.

Today is my first Easter spent in Texas (visiting, not living here).  I went for a run in shorts and a t-shirt for the first time outside since I started training for the marathon.  I had pizza for Easter dinner for the first time, ever, because we waited too long to get to the grocery store and now it is shut.  Heidi spent her Easter with our 19 month year old nephew for the first time and watched Josh look for Easter eggs for the first time.  Roth and Christina watched their 3 year old, Emmagene, and 20 month year old, Lily, look quizzically at the empty egg carton in the fridge and ponder what the Easter Bunny did with all the eggs, for the first time.

And so, I will eat a Reese’s peanut butter egg this holiday and smile; it was Mom’s favorite.  And I will reminisce about how much I looked forward to and loved to make homemade chocolate candy with her….candy molds,  chocolate covered pretzels, raisins, Buckeyes, chocolate covered coconut... if you could dip it in chocolate, we did.

But I will continue to live.  I enjoyed my pizza because she would have laughed at my inability to plan and then she would have made me a ham and mashed potatoes next time I was home to make up for it.  I will continue to have firsts and appreciate them because that’s what mom would have wanted.

Even if this Easter was the same tradition as last year and you feel it was routine, it wasn't.   Every moment is a first. 

So I challenge you all to look around and appreciate those firsts.  Because those firsts are also lasts.  Nothing goes according to plan, so if people were late for dinner, or the stuffing did not turn out the way you wanted, or your mother in law or aunt got on your nerves- again….who cares.  Let it go.  Enjoy where you are, what you have, and even what you don’t have.  Breathe it all in.  Look at the person next to you and the people you love and appreciate them.  Because you can.

To all of you:
I wish you a very Happy Easter/Passover/Just another Sunday.
April 1, 1978 - first days as husband and wife (Mary and Dan)
Easter 1980 something....
Easter 1993 - Nanny and Grandpop's, New Jersey
Another photo in the dining room (have you caught on to the trend yet??) - Easter 1994?

Looks like we moved to the living room this year for the Easter shot!

1999 - Home - Last year we'll all fit on the couch together (L-R Heidi, Betsy, Tina, Adam, Megan)

First time on a bicycle built for two - Mom, Heidi, Tina, Megan, and Me at the beach . All taking turns and enjoying the sun!

2001, Mom visits her first daughter at college.  

~May your year be full of many firsts~


Vesuvius - It’s the Final Countdown...We need YOU to reach our $10k goal. CLICK to read more and Donate

To the Top- For Their Thoughts. 

Can you help?
We are fighting for a cure for dementia* – WHY: for our current loved ones... for our future generations ... and heck, for us!! The reality, whether we like it or not, is everyday our odds of getting a brain degeneration disease is rising – but it doesn’t have to be.  So that’s why we’re here: To change course and run for their thoughts, for our thoughts

*Curious on what exactly is dementia?  (You're not alone!):  Common Dementias:  FTD (Frontotemporal Dementia) Pick’s Disease: ALS (Lewy Bodies) : Alzheimer’s : Parkinson’s : Vascular Dementia : Huntington’s Disease : Creutzfeldt-Jakob : etc...
NEXT UP: Vesuvius Race!!
Adults, kids and strollers:  26 in all.    This Sunday, 29 October. We will take on Mount Vesuvius - together - the infamous volcano 🌋 that took out Pompeii in a 2k, 5k and 10k UPHILL race to the top!
We are on home stretch to reach the milestone goal of $10,000 by my mother's birthday, 21 November and we have 3 events left:

  • 29 Oct - group run up Mt Vesuvio – 5 days away!
  • 12 Nov - Athens Marathon
  • 21 Nov - Back to Vesuvio for the final run of the season up the volcano that started this campaign.  

The numbers… YOUR IMPACT
  • $4,800 – what we’ve raised so far by 45 donors
  • 36 – runners that have joined in
  • 350 –miles ran
  • 106,000 feet in elevation climbed
  • 200 shares of the ForTheirThoughts campaign on social media
  • 8000 ForTheirThoughts video view

  • $10,000 – raised, by YOU in 2014 at Mary Hall Memorial ..
  • $1 MILLION – Federal government grant thanks to that $10k raised

Oh the Place WE have Gone,…
Alongside 35 others we’ll have huffed it up some amazing and crazy places!!! 
  • Mt Vesuvius, active volcano, Italy
  • Mt Etna, active volcano, Sicily
  • Mogrt , Slovenia
  • The treadmill at 7.5 grade for 5 miles (when Vesuvius was on fire)--- it was incredibly boring but I promised a weekly run and a weekly run is what you got.
  • Dolomites Sky Marathon ( up and over 8500ft, Italian Alps)
  • Path of Gods, Amalfi Coast
  • 15 flights of stairs, 7 times - Stairs in Bahrain Hotel (work trip)
The ultimate goal is $100,000.  Will I reach it?  I don't know...but it's too important to not try.

And so, that brings us to now…3 more events to try and reach the $10,000 milestone. From here, I’ll be taking a volcano running break for the winter to work with a team to better the business plan and bring the campaign back in the spring focused on you. 

YOUR stories. 
YOUR loved ones.  
YOUR runs.

(Please message me if you have advice or already know you want to dedicate a run to one of your loved ones)

But for now, I dedicate this phase to:

- Uncle Joe, currently diagnosed with FTD
- My grandmother, Margaret
- And my loving mother, Mary Hall 
- And to all the MILLIONS of caregivers dedicating their time and lives to their loved ones.

You will not be forgotten.  You're too important.  Our next generation is too important.  

Thank YOU, everyone. 

How to DONATE 
  1. DONATE online button
  2. Venmo- @4theirthoughts.  (avoids PayPal fees)
-please leave your email in the memo for a receipt. 
3. Directly on Bluefield Website:, Memo: "fortheirthoughts"
4.  And for those of you like my Dad – Check is always an option
Please mail a check or money order to:
The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia
637 Carolina St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Memo: ForTheirThoughts

All proceeds go directly to the leading Frontotemporal dementia researchers - Bluefield Project-- teaming with over 20 elite research institutes to accelerate toward a cure. 

Week 13 - In Honor of Uncle Joe...Who is your "who?"

To Understand the “why” we should raise awareness for dementia.  Let’s understand the “who.”

ü  My mother is my “who.”

ü  My Uncle Joe is my “who.”

ü  My grandmother is my “who.”

Who is yourwho?”

As I continue the weekly runs up the volcano, Vesuvius and prepare for Milestone 2: Athens Marathon, 12 November –every step is for my “who.” And to honor them with helping the next generation.  

 Uncle Joe ---a veteran, a teacher, principal, husband, father, uncle.  A man that was admired by the community and had and has a passion for helping others.  In 2013, the same year his sister and niece passed from dementia (my mother and grandmother), he was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia, FTD. 

Who is your “who?”  Who do you know with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, FTD or ALS?  Take a moment, and define them for how they lived, not the brain disorder they obtained.  If you could help prevent yourself and future generations from going through what he/she has gone through, would you?  Of course you would. 

So I ask again, who is your who?  Comment below and let’s bring awareness together.

This month, Uncle Joe, I run for you.  You are my who. 

Successes to DATE:
  1. Ground covered:  Over 400 miles ran; Over 86,000 ft climbed
  2. People reached: Over 2000 views on the last video.  Goal:  5000 for this one.
  3. Donations raised * $4300 raised.... Milestone 2: $10,000 Goal by Athens Marathon, mid November

*All proceeds going directly to FTD research and tax deductible.

Week 9: For Their Thoughts - Let's Talk About It

This month, we want your advice, let's just focus on exposure and awareness:
  1. What makes you want to click share? 
  2. What do you want to hear more about ...or less about. 
    1. Facts?   Family Story?  Prevention Advice?
  3. How best to spread the word? How do we reach 10s of 1000s?

So to kick start the August Awareness, we've outline where we are now.  Read on to find out:
1. Updates on Running For Their Thoughts success to date
2. Update on Bluefield Project's progress toward a cure for FTD!
3. And YOUR impact:  How one little ripple can start the wave to change.

Mtn Running UPDATE:

WK 8: Italian Alp Sky Marathon;  

WK 9: Back to Vesuvius

- $3,655 Raised
-  225 Total Miles Ran: 
- 51,000  Feet Climbed
- by 45 runners and donors
**Video and Photos BELOW!!!**

John F Kennedy once said, "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events.

Join the Run!
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others...he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls...



 A few Ripples….
by a few individuals…
started Change in Frontotemporal Dementia…
q 2010: 
üNo Treatment
üNo Cure
üNo Prospects for either

Ripple….An ordinary family in Virginia… frustrated, founded Bluefield Project, and teamed up with UCSF.
q 2014: 
üAbout a dozen more research institutes were on board
üTheories on how to suppress or prevent FTD arise…
üMice trials and research underway… 
…But still not treatment or cure…

Ripple….Friends and Family in PA come together and raise $10,000  with community support. --- this $$ secured $1,000,000 from NIH
q Today:
ü21 research institutes – collaborating together
üBiomedical and Pharmaceuticals on board
üResearch pace is accelerating, trials underway
Ripple…. A PA/Cali girl, living in Naples, commits to running mountains until another $100,000 is raised…..For their Thoughts Campaign commences.  45 donors and runners have already joined

q Tomorrow:
ü     hope    
ü treatment    
ü a cure  
Dementia is on the rise,
Look left...
Look right...
Look in the mirror...
One of you three is expected to get dementia.  Let's change that.  Let's talk about it so our kids don't have to.  

Please help Awareness August. 
Please consider sharing
~~Thank YOU~~ 

From about 8000 ft, Italian Alps

Pickles - Our Vesuvius mascot!

Jim and I before starting 26 miles

Week 7 of Running For Their Thoughts - Because It's the Right Thing To Do

Someone asked the other day: "Why are you doing this?  Why are you running up a volcano every week and raising $100k?" 

The answer seemed too simple.

And I thought and thought but still kept circling back to the same conclusion: 

It's the right thing to do.  

Week 7 - Vesuvius roads were closed due to fires but I promised a run a week, so inclined treadmill it was!
Yes, I am doing it to honor my mother- who's life was taken in her prime age of 56, the moment she was diagnosed with FTD. 

Yes, I am doing it for my Grandmother, Uncle Steve and my Uncle Joe- also diagnosed with FTD.

Yes, I am doing this for myself- because my family has the genetic form and I am petrified this disease will take me too one day (and I won't give in without a fight). 

Yes, I am doing this for my siblings who have the same risk as I...

And for my nieces and nephews.  So, Josh, who is about to celebrate his 6th birthday can also celebrate his 76th.  

So Lily, also 6, just learning to read and so excited to talk about EVERYTHING that enters her little brain, can keep chattering away until she's 87 years old. 

Yes, I am doing it for all those reasons. 

As well as the big picture --because dementia is a disease, not part of getting old, and the number is expected to  go from the already over whelming number of 35 Million to 115 Million by 2050 (World Health Organization WHO)-- making cancer numbers (which, thankfully, are shrinking due to research) look small.

I could list all the stats that make your eyes go cross. 

Yes, I am doing it for all those reasons.

But bottom line: 

Because it's the right thing to do.  

End of Story.

Bluefield Project was started by a family that vowed to fight for a cure and not let future generations lose their loved ones to dementia like they lost theirs.  That was in 2010.

Now they are funding and collaborating with 21 research institutes to find a cure.  Working together rather than competing.

Talks with biotech companies and pharmaceuticals have commenced.

Their success and progress is because they saw what was right and acted on it.

Wanna join the action? 

Likes don't save lives, people do.  


1. Online - Click the DONATE button on this page
2. Venmo - @ForTheirThoughts  #7244339227. 
3. Mail -
Please mail a check or money order to:

The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia
637 Carolina St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Memo: For Their Thoughts

Your gift to the Bluefield Project will help accelerate the search for a cure for frontotemporal dementia. The Bluefield Project is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible and the tax ID number is 27-2444495. 

A thank you letter/email will be sent with the TAX ID as well.

***Donations over $50 will receive a personal photo from the top of Mt. Vesuvius***

Amalfi Coast - substitute run while Vesuvius is closed from fires

Action Summary by the end of Week 7 (June 6th - July 18)
  • 130 miles ran by 7 people 
  • 26,000 feet of elevation climbed
  • $2,570 raised
  • Milestone 1- $2000 - reach two weeks early!
Next up:  26 miles over the Dolomites (Italian Alps) on 28 July. Can we reach $5,000 by then?  With your help, the answer is yes)

Check out "Running for Their Thoughts" YouTube Channel for more videos that week by week tell my family's story

Running For Their Thoughts - Week 3, Full Version

The running continues!!

I'm pretty sure the runs are supposed to get easier but this week was definitely a challenge.  Perhaps it was the heat.  (Or the reality that I do have a very busy day job too haha).  But it was still worth it.

I was humbled and excited to have four colleagues join me on the run.  Two were gentlemen I had just met and heard about the run and wanted to join. 

Oh, and I have definitely gotten on the good side of the Vesuvius dogs.  One in particular -- which I've unofficially named "Pickles" joined us for 5 MILES and ran along!!! 

At the top, as before, I took a few minutes to talk about FTD.  I summarize the beginning--when we realized things were off. 

You can read more about this the blog post "The Beginning - Part I."  -

I realized on the volcano, that talking about it my mom's journey will be harder than I realized.  It will open up emotions and memories I've set aside...

But I have no regrets.  Zero. 

Dementia is an epidemic that needs more attention and research.  I want to provide the best future for my nieces and nephews and that means minimizing the risk of them going through what we went through with my mom. 

Thank you for your support.

The Halls

campaign to raise awareness and raise $100,000 for a cure for FTD - frontotemporal Dementia.   All proceeds go to BluefieldProject based at UCSF.  We all seem to know someone with dementia. Let's change that for the next generation. Please share on twitter, Facebook, etc.

Running For Their Thoughts: Week 1, Run 1

Week One Run one!  To the Top, for their Thoughts - I'll keep running until $100,000 is raised!

Week One:
I kicked off the "official" campaign 13 June 2017.  I started about 5 miles down the hill and ran switchbacks up to the top (2300ft in elevation change).  10 miles in total.  Definitely a challenging run and I'll push a little further by backing down the mountain a little more every time.

Each week I'll run it again and tell you a little about dementia and my family's journey.  Some weeks hopefully I'll make you laugh, others I may make you cry (or at least make myself cry). 

FTD hits people in their prime.  My mom was only 56.  She was very aware of what was happening to her.  Her memory was intact but her communication skills and executive functions were deteriorating  It started out small...she would have troubles finding words....or she would stand in front of the sink, knowing she was supposed to do something, tears filling her eyes....  Then someone would walk over and hand her the washcloth and it would trigger a light and she'd start washing the dishes.  

Eventually she became mute.

She lost her job.

She lost her license.

All the while she was aware what was happening to her.

The dementia progressed and things became harder and hard for her. 

Her muscles began to atrophy and she began to limp, first her right side started to show paralysis.

Eventually she was wheelchair bound.  ...

We had to puree her food....

At 61 she let go.

There is not a single treatment or cure for FTD.  

Not one thing my family could do to help her.

Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is working hard to find a cure and working with research and medical institutes across the nation.  With them, there is hope.  And many researchers believe that if they can figure out a cure for FTD it will open up the doors to cure other dementias. 

 I'll go into more detail in future posts.  Please consider joining the campaign. #ForTheirThoughts  #CureFTD.