For the fifth year in a row, Lisa Beckman and her team of friends and family will walk in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to end Alzheimer’s in Bismarck. There, they will walk to honor the memory of Beckman’s mother, Naomi Ullman.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and North Dakota has the 5th highest Alzheimer’s death rate in America.
Team members Lisa, Kenny, Cassy and Madison Beckman, Brittney Ullman, Dennis Maier, Bonnie Lueck, Mary Henderson, and Travis Collins will walk to raise both awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association under the team name Naomi’s Memory Walkers on September 7.
Beckman’s mother, Naomi Ullman, grew up and graduated from Haynes in 1948. Beckman joked that Ullman graduated as both valedictorian and salutatorian because she was the only person in her class. Once graduated, Ullman married and farmed with her husband in the local area. Beckman said her mother was known in Hettinger for involvement in the church and the Royal Neighbors organization. In 2014, Beckman’s mother passed from the Alzheimer’s.
“Sitting by my mother’s bedside when she couldn’t recognize family members was incredibly hard,” said Beckman.
After her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Beckman became determined to combat the disease and started her own Alzheimer’s walking team. For Beckman, walking for Alzheimer’s research is a very personal battle.
“Alzheimer’s is genetic, and walking is my way to fight it,” she said. “I come from a family where there is a strong history of Alzheimer’s, and I am going to do everything I can to try and look out for my future and my children’s. I am very dedicated to raising every cent I can.”
Beckman shows her support in many other ways than just walking; as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month approaches, she wears purple clothing and even dyes her hair purple, the color for Alzheimer’s awareness.
Beckman also shows her support through a yearly bake sale. She said that the only reason she can do the bake sale this year is because of her friends that are willing to bake and contribute their time to cause.
“It’s very nice to have that community support,” said she said. “I couldn’t do it without them.”