Natalie Hamill is busy. She is a PLNU senior business administration major, a volleyball player, and a volunteer for the local Alzheimer’s Association. But her volunteerism is not just altruistic, it’s personal. Natalie’s mother, Pam, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when Natalie was just 17 and a freshman at PLNU. Pam just just 54.

Natalie journeys home often to take care of her mother and to ease the burden for her father, who is Pam’s usual caregiver. In a recent article in the U-T San Diego, Natalie affectionately called it “mommy-sitting.”

On Sept. 21, she was honored at the local Alzheimer’s Association’s “Celebration of Courage and Hope” fundraising event for her work and care for mother.

“I want to be proud (about the award), but it’s hard because it’s not something that I wanted to have happen,” Hamill told the U-T. “But I am so thankful I made the choice to be my mother’s caretaker and always be there for her and my father. I wish that every single caretaker in the entire world could get an award. I’m not the only person who is going through this.”

PLNU’s volleyball team will be holding an Alzheimer’s awareness day on Saturday, Sept. 22, the day after National Alzheimer’s Action Day. Fans are encouraged to wear their purple to raise awareness of the disease. The PLNU volleyball team will be wearing purple socks and ribbons to do their part.

To read the full U-T San Diego article about Natalie, click here.

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