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. 

Running Volcanos - Every Week until a $100k is raised!

Mt. Vesuvius - standing at about 4200 ft tall, is the largest active volcano in Europe. 

The Skinny:  Beginning Tuesday, 13 June 2017, I am going to hike/run to the top every week until I raise $100k for dementia. 

Trial Run video on YOUTUBE:

As some of you know, I moved to Naples, Italy in March 2017 for a new job opportunity.  It's already been an amazing experience with new work challenges, learning a new language (or at least attempting) and traveling to new places/experiencing new cultures.  I no doubt feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity.

But I also believe you truly live in the present and life is best when it's not about yourself.

Everything since I've been here has been about me.

I was reflecting on this the other night and how I've been living silently in what my sister calls "The Eye of the Storm." 

The time after the passing of my grandmother and mother but before my generation (and maybe even myself) begins to show FTD (frontotemporal dementia) symptoms and it all begins again.  For our family, without a cure, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

I then began reflecting on a promise I've made to not forget or give up.  Planning a benefit has proved to be challenging with my constant relocation of work.  What else could be done?

I run anyways...and I've been meaning to pick up my hill runs for an upcoming race....

And so I went to bed with the crazy idea of running Mt. Vesuvius once a week to raise money - maybe $10k?

I woke yesterday morning and decided $10k was not good enough.  It was time to really up the ante. 


If that takes me a year.  It takes me a year. 

I did a trial run last night to see how realistic it was. 

On the trial run....
I learned that I should wear bug spray when running up a forest road in the hot summer.
I learned I should also wear a reflective belt when climbing a windy volcano road that often has heavy cloud cover at the top.

I learned I'll be walking/running for a bit...

I learned it's gonna be tough and tiring but I'm going to do it; I will not give up.

I'll use video / social media to log the runs, and keep everyone updated.  I'll educate and hopefully amuse you all along the way.  (There may be costumes involved in the future...).  I hope to tell others stories, touch your hearts and souls.  Every one of us knows someone suffering from dementia.  Some of you may even be caregivers -- the unspoken, unnoticed hero.  Keeping it together even when their heart is breaking.

Finally, I hope this encourages others to run mountains to reach their own goals.  (Hills are ok too).

There is more to come....this is just the beginning.

One climb at a time, one week at a time, til $100k is raised. 

---Betsy Hall - See ya at the Top!!

#PennyForTheirThoughts  via  #RunningForTheirThoughts

Check out Video 1 of the Trial run on Youtube: