“We lack answers. Answers are lacking in the research world—and in the personal worlds of everyone who is impacted by this disease. How often did I hope that the answer to “Mom, do you know who I am?” would produce the right answer. Or even any answer. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is exactly the type of organization that we were looking for. Their singular focus on research is what we all need.”

Carolyn Mastrangelo and Barbara Geiger are the founders of Running 4 Answers, the annual road race in New Jersey dedicated to raising funds to cure Alzheimer’s disease.

Carolyn, who lost her mother to Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, has shared her story on the Running 4 Answers website:

“The saddest part is that my story is not unique. Many who read this will have similar stories to tell. Noticing that my mom wasn’t quite right was a scary revelation; realizing that it was happening at age 55 was terrifying. She was a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend … roles that she taught me how to do well. She was an avid reader and trivia buff.

She was a registered nurse at a nursing home for 22 years, a job she enjoyed tremendously. She has lived in one now for 5 years.

She is almost 66 years old.

Having lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer, I knew there were many ways to donate … many ways to DO SOMETHING. As a runner, I looked for races that would support my mom. I was shocked to find not a single race that benefited Alzheimer’s disease.

The feeling of helplessness grew. This disease is devastating to watch—however there is nothing to do … but watch.

As a personal trainer, I believe in change, that things can be different. I decided to create the first race dedicated to raising funds to find a cure for this disease. I reached out to my friend and fellow fitness enthusiast, Barbara Geiger, who, in addition to being a runner, also has fundraising experience, and asked if she would help put something together. A race was born.

The name of the race started with Melissa Etheridge’s song about breast cancer, “I Run for Life.” It’s a song I love, so we looked at the lyrics to spark some ideas; “Running for answers …” is a line from that song. The moment we read it, we knew it needed to be the race’s name.

This experience is exciting. Daunting. And beyond rewarding. I’m no longer just watching my mom in a nursing home. I’m doing something. We’re doing something. It alone will not solve the problem, but every step we race is a step in the right direction.”