OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “This is a prize. It’ll go down in infamy. I’m going to have it bronzed,” Roger Mashore said.
Roger Mashore is an ironman, and even more impressive, he became one in his fifties. The feat in made up of 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling, and running – a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles of running.
“We battled and worked our way through,” he said.
Roger knows how to train.
“I feel great to be honest with you. How old am I now?” he said.
“Sixty-six,” his wife, Jackie Mashore said.
“I”m 66,” Roger said. “I know that shocks you, but I really am. I’m 66.”
Roger has a heck of a sense of humor. Now in his sixties, he is embarking on a journey in which no amount of training can prepare anyone.
“It didn’t come on just real fast, but over a period of time,” he said. “I thought things were great, but she saw things probably a little bit different.”
“I noticed things around the house. Just forgetfulness about especially dates, some things we were going to do, things on the calendar,” Jackie said.
“Where is the calendar?” Roger said.
“Can’t find the keys, can’t find the phone, all of that which is kind of routine, but it became chronic,” Jackie said.
Roger often could not find things in plain sight. Little things then became bigger and more apparent things.
“One of the things that was pretty hard to step back and think about is that I could do math in my head very, very well,” Roger said. “I was known for that where we worked even, and I can’t do that today.”
“That was one of the things that was really a red flag for me that something was wrong,” Jackie said. “The misplacing keys and things, that was kind of routine, but when he started having trouble with numbers that he could always do in his head just like that and then not able to subtract 50 from 100.”
The former CEO kept plugging along and continued to go to work and play in his band.
“He’s a phenomenal musician,” Jackie said.
Everyone around Roger began noticing that something was not quite right – even tuning his guitar became a challenge.
“And then there was the whole thing of if this is what’s going on at home, what’s going on at the office? Do his coworkers recognize something? When I connected with them they were like yeah. We didn’t know if you know,” Jackie said.
He first went to his primary care doctor and then a specialist who diagnosed Roger with Alzheimer’s.
“He actually spoke to Roger about it like hey I think you need to be checked out, and of course denial right? I’m not going to do that. I don’t really have a problem,” Jackie said.
“Sounds like I was drinking,” Roger said.
That is when Roger retired after 47 years.
“I was the CEO of MTM Manufacturing. It used to be Midwest Trophy Part of that was I was starting to have some troubles that I needed to address,” Roger said. “Most of the time I was thinking this isn’t real. That’s not going to happen to me.”
But it was.
“And then illness hit and changed everything,” Jackie said.
One year later, Roger and Jackie continue facing Roger’s diagnosis head on, together.
“Are you scared?”
“No. No,” Roger said. “One day at a time.”
And one laugh at a time – the best medicine until there is a cure.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday, October 22.
You can find out more information here.