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As I grew older, my father grew younger. I was 17 when my father ran away from home, leaving the television on behind him, the remote control lying at the base of the recliner that was still extended. I was supposed to be looking after him that afternoon as he sat in his recliner watching the stock market channel, staring at the numbers, forgetting each and every sign and symbol. I remember trying to keep my heavy lids from falling but finally giving in to the comfort of a woven, cotton blanket and familiar warm pillow. And when I finally awoke that afternoon, I saw that he was gone.

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The saddest part is that my story isn’t unique. Many who read this will have similar ones to tell. Noticing that my mom wasn’t quite right was a scary revelation. Realizing that it was happening at the age of 55 was terrifying. She is 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 7 years.

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Sons and DaughtersActivists

When I first came to college in fall of 2010, I wasn't passionate about anything. I was living on a day-to-day basis. Some friends influenced me to rush a fraternity and that's when everything changed. Upon entering the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity house, also known as Fiji, I came across a picture frame. Inside the frame was a bike jersey along with two pictures: one taken by the Pacific Ocean in California, and the other at the Atlantic in Virginia. A member of the fraternity noticed my interest and began telling me the story.

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