Grace Colombara told WAVY she wanted to up the ante this year.
“I thought… Oooh… Adding the swimming,” she said.
To which her husband Gino Colombara replied, “What, are you trying to kill me?”
Gino Colombara is executive director of the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He says their event really resembles what the longest day is.
“It’s is about that strength, passion and endurance. My dad had the disease. I know what it’s like being a caregiver,” he said.
The couple will swim 22 laps, bike 21 miles and walk 6 miles to honor those living with the disease and their caregivers.
“This year, I think it really made a personal connection for me when my mother was diagnosed with memory loss,” Grace Colombara said.
Their “Tri For A Cure” has raised more than $3,800 already.
They encourage others to choose something they’re passionate about and turn it into a fundraiser, too.
“We have friends who make jams or jellies, other people who garden,” Grace Colombara said.
The fight doesn’t have to be physical, she said, but it should be fun.
“When I was in the pool, the lifeguard had to come over and say ‘Try a noodle,'” Gino Colombara said with a laugh.
He is not embarrassed to say he embraces that noodle as he does the cause.
“You do what it takes to caregive, and you do what it takes to complete this ‘Tri for a Cure,'” he said.
Gino Colombara will retire from the Alzheimer’s Association next month after 27 years on the job but he won’t stop supporting the organization or the fight to find a cure.