Callie Hudson's Fundraising Page
The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer's Disease represents the pinnacle of commitment to excellence in Research and Care for Texans to attempt to cure Alzheimer's disease (AD) in our lifetimes, to expand research into Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and to expand the paradigms of care and access for Texans, enabling exposure to preventative care and treatment strategies aimed at combatting the epidemic of AD.
My father, Jim Hudson, passed away in June of 2013 from Traumatic Dementia, a progressive degenerative brain disease commonly found in athletes with a history of repeated head trauma. My dad played for Coach Royal and was a member of the 1963 National Championship Team. After graduating from the University of Texas, my dad went on to play for the New York Jets as a Defensive Back for seven seasons proudly winning Super Bowl III in 1969.
Coach Royal played a prominent role in my father’s life both on and off the field. Some of my fondest childhood memories include Coach Royal and Mama Edie. From enjoying 4th of July parades along with Christian and Tyler Campbell, to swimming in their pool until my fingers shriveled, to taking golf cart rides with Coach, to snuggling with my blankie Mama Edie made, the Royals made such a difference in the lives of our entire family.
As my Dad’s disease progressed, I made the decision to return home to Austin to not only help in caring for him, but also to create a few more memories while he was still capable. Although time was not on our side, the final three months of his life will forever be some of the most cherished moments in my life. Our father was a constant source of strength and wisdom and watching him rapidly slip away changed our family forever. However, the unrelenting strength I so often only associated with my father surfaced in my mother Lise who became his nurse, his chauffeur, his memory, his sole caregiver, and constant companion for many months. I learned firsthand the toll a debilitating illness like AD takes on not only the patient, but also the entire family. The physical deterioration, the mental confusion, and the inability to enjoy life’s small pleasures were slowly taken away from a man who once reveled in each moment spent with friends and family. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. After my father passed away, I knew I needed to make a difference in the lives of families experiencing the pain caused by great loss.
I am truly honored to be a member of the DKR Fund Legacy Council Executive Committee in memory of both my dad, Jim Hudson, and his lifetime friend, Coach Darrell K. Royal. I have had the privilege of meeting several of the doctors devoted to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. A truly dedicated group of men and women, these doctors treat both the patient and the caregivers. Hoping to help families hold on to loved ones longer, their research depends on our support. Please join me in helping find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and provide a platform to better understand the human brain.