Frank Neely is running for his mom, who was always ‘game for anything’

"Her spirit of getting up, going out, and trying something new has inspired my curiosity and adventure in life."

Frank Neely is running to support the Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter after losing his mom to Alzheimer's disease in January. Frank Neely

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your #WhyImRunningBoston story here.

Name: Frank Neely
Age: 52
From: Quincy

If you asked my mom (Barbara): Would you like to? or Do you want to go? The question didn’t matter. Her answer was always “Yes.” Do you want to go for a ride? Want to try Thai food? She’d immediately jump up, flash a smile, grab her pocketbook and coat.


Her spirit of getting up, going out, and trying something new has inspired my curiosity and adventure in life. She was game for anything. She stayed game for everything well through her early 90s, even as Alzheimer’s slowly chipped at her independence and memory.

However, the disease never took her eager spirit, her broad smile, and perpetual light in her eyes. Though in January of this year (2021) her time did come and while it seemed to sneak up unexpectedly, my siblings and I were blessed to be with her in comfort and love.

It’s in the name of her spirit of eagerness that I’ll be taking part in the 125th Boston Marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter.

I’ve had the fortune to meet so many other wonderful men and women (and their families) who had been my mom’s neighbors at her memory care facility. Many have now passed from Alzheimer’s, and now my mom has joined their ranks. And far too many others passed away from COVID-19 last year as well.

I’ll also be running in thanks for the tireless and dedicated caregivers who assist, support, and lighten the burden for those who live with Alzheimer’s. So, in my mom’s name, I ask you to say yes, just try, go someplace new, be with people who make you happy.


And, if you can, please contribute to help get one step closer to ending Alzheimer’s:

Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.

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