SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Every step Je'Nell Blocher, 82, takes on her 82 mile journey across South Mississippi is in honor of her late husband.
"He would say, you know, 'Oh, you're a very good driver. Wouldn't you come in and have a drink with me and my wife?' And that's tough, you know. It hurts," Je'Nell said.
Chuck Blocher suffered from Alzheimer's Disease for seven years before he passed away in 2009. Je'Nell was his caregiver. She gets chocked up recalling the toll the disease took on her husband of 57 and a half years.
"Tough, you know, this brilliant man," Je'Nell said with tears in her eyes. "It's just tough; particularly the last year or so, when he didn't know me."
That's something Je'Nell doesn't want others to have to experience, which is why she is pounding the pavement.
"I'm excited, because just since he has died a few years ago, there has been progress made. And that's what I'm working for and trying to raise money for," Je'Nell said.
Je'Nell made an 80 mile trek along South Mississippi's beachline two years ago for her birthday, raising about $3,000 for the disease. Unfortunately, she had to sit out for her 81st birthday because she was battling tongue cancer.
"Because of Alzheimer's, because of the stress of being a caregiver, I had some complications," Je'Nell said. "That's cured now, so I'm back on the track."
She is a woman on a mission to find a cure for Alzheimer's and she will not let anything hold her back. In fact, you would not guess by watching her walk, but Je'Nell has had two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement.
"I'm very, very blessed," Je'Nell said.
She is about halfway through her 82 mile journey. If you would like to support her fight against Alzheimer's, you can learn more about donating here: http://act.alz.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1060&pxfid=201568