Danielle Ancona Ramos
I have been touched both on a personal and professional level by Alzheimer's Disease. I believe the inspiration and motivation for my career path and desire to support the Alzheimer's Association came from my grandmother. My Grandmother Angelina was one of the most important and influential figures in my life. My sister and I grew up very close to our grandma... Spending summers with her, visiting every Sunday evening for homemade pasta & meatballs followed by tea & cookies, every sick day was spent at Grandma's where she made homemade soup to nurse us back to health. I had always loved and adored my grandmother but as I grew older, my appreciation for her only grew deeper. When my grandma was diagnosed in 2002 (at age 90) with Alzheimer's disease, I was only at the beginning of my professional career. I wish I knew then what I know now so I could have helped her and my family more. Of course we supported her in every way that we could, but the experience and knowledge I have now, after 18 years in this field, is far greater than I had then. In every one of my residents I see my grandmother. In every family member I see my dad or myself. This has shaped me and guided me. A photo of her in my office is a daily reminder of the person that still remains throughout this disease. I am honored to be part of such a wonderful organization that also sees the person and strives to make a difference everyday. Even though my Grandma Angelina left this world on October 3, 2004, she continues to be my motivation each and every day.