Bring Hilarity for Charity to Philly!

bring-hilarity-for-charity-to-phillyMy Soon to Be Sister-In-Law is trying to get support to bring Hilarity for Charity to Philly. After being actively involved in the Alzheimer’s community for the past several years, Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller created Hilarity for Charity: an awesome, one-of-a-kind, and most importantly, hilarious event to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s among a younger generation.

Here is the story of Meg, her family and more importantly, her father.

My name is Meg, I’m 25 years old and live in Philly. I have a great idea involving Hilarity for Charity but I wanted to tell you a little about my story first.

Bring Hilarity for Charity to PhillyUnfortunately this story doesn’t start with just Alzheimer’s. It starts with my dad being diagnosed with colon cancer when I was 16. He had surgery then chemo therapy and slowly started to recover. However, after his recovery we noticed small personality changes and memory deficiencies. We chalked it up to the cancer treatments but in reality this was the very beginning of Alzheimer’s. Once I went to college, each time I would come home I noticed that my dad’s memory was a little worse but you never suspect your 56-year-old dad has Alzheimer’s. Once college ended I moved home to my parents place in Delaware for a year. This was a huge eye opener. My dad was calling grass “the stuff that grows out of the ground” and relentlessly asking me why I wasn’t married already (which may be a normal question in some families, but my parents have never pressured us kids about that kind of stuff). Alzheimer’s crossed my mind a few times but then I would think “no way, he’s too young for that”. Then for my mom’s birthday that year he bought her a box of jet black hair dye (my mom has always had light brown hair) and sleep-aids from the local Walgreens. I knew my dad was either making a terrible joke or that something was seriously wrong. My dad’s humor has always been that of typical “dad jokes” so I knew it was the latter. Once we got the Alzheimer’s diagnosis we were all terrified. And to be honest I was mad- not at my dad, but that life had dealt me such a difficult hand. I thought about my dad not being able to walk me down the aisle or see my kids grow up. I felt terrible because I was worried about myself when my dad is the one who actually has to let this terrible disease rob him of everything. And then I thought of my mom having to watch my dad fade away. It was all very overwhelming.

It has now been almost 3 years since my dad’s diagnosis and my whole perspective has changed. Although it is heartbreaking to watch my dad deteriorate before our eyes, one of the only ways we all get through it is by seeing the humor. My dad had always been a gentle, peaceful soul but has recently decided to substitute a lot of words he’s forgotten with profanity. My mom tries very hard to keep his language and vulgarity under control UNLESS they are in the car together. My mom has a terrible case of road rage and has no problem tag teaming with my dad to call the driver in front of them a bitch or asshole. My mom confessed this guilty pleasure to me one day and that’s when I realized- my dad was turning all of us crazy- but maybe in some ways, that wasn’t such a bad thing. We may have to pretend like our dad giving us a box of hair dye and sleep-aids for our birthdays is the best present on the planet but we know he loves us and it makes for a great story.

I also started getting involved in the Alzheimer’s Association which helped give me a sense of power in a powerless situation. In 2012 I was able to go to the Capitol and talk to members of Congress about passing the Hope for Alzheimer’s Act. I am also an active member in Philadelphia’s Junior Committee which helps to get young people involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

So here is my idea…. let me help bring Hilarity for Charity to Philly!!

When I heard about Hilarity for Charity it instantly caught my attention for two reasons. One, I think it is absolutely necessary for young people realize this is not just an “old person’s disease”. Secondly, I recognize what a powerful tool comedy is when coping with a family member facing Alzheimer’s. The Philadelphia community would truly benefit from bringing this event to our city. It could help strengthen support networks, spread awareness and raise funds for research and caregiver support. While also bringing comic relief to those of us who could really use a laugh.

So please let me help HFC help Philly!

-Meg Smothers

Want to Help?

Copy and Paste the Tweet Below & Tweet directly to Seth Rogen, Lauren Miller and Hilarity to Charity & Have them bring this amazing organization to Philadelphia, PA!

@Sethrogen @IamLaurenMiller PLEASE let me bring @Hilar4Charity to Philly! This story is why I want to help: http://bit.ly/17Qi0Ru

Philly likes to laugh too.


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