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At least Glenn Caffery is doing something.

Well-meaning, do-gooding, fund-raising recreational athletes have long been the project of summer newsroom interns, anxious for a byline at any -- or very little -- cost. They'll write anything and are assigned stories ancient reporters frequently refuse.

So when Glenn Caffery's daughter called the other day, somehow I didn't say no.

Glenn Caffery's father died of early-onset Alzheimer's that was diagnosed at 55 but presented several years prior to that. He suffered for 12 years before dying.

So Caffery, a university lecturer at U-Mass Amherst, is running coast to coast, Oregon to Rhode Island.

Long after Mother's Day and shortly before Memorial Day, he was in Oregon. Now, he's in Wyoming.

I cannot even remotely relate to that as someone for whom 30 minutes on the treadmill is the achievement of the day.

But I can relate to Alzheimer's.

It took both of my grandmothers -- each at 88 and within 6 months of each other.

It was awful, and I was 1,000 miles away.

Peggy Jane the Mom often said as we talked of her mom and my beloved Nana that watching her care for her mom was good practice for me.

"It's hereditary, you know."

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Nana took the art of power shopping to a whole new level and I was a willing student.

Grandma Katie ruled her house with Polish gusto.

I have many of their traits -- genetic and otherwise -- and I could not be more proud.

Before the calendar says fall, Peggy Jane the Mom will be 80.

Glenn Caffery, I salute you.

Follow his progress or contribute to the research fund he chose as the recipient, Cure Alzheimer's Fund, at www.alzrun.org

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