Billboard celebrates top Alzheimer’s fundraiser − “First Lady” of The Citadel
Daddy’s Darlings leading the charge for Charleston’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Sept. 20, 2014
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Her father started showing symptoms years before the worst effects of the ravaging disease hit her family, taking their lives in a painful direction. Donna Rosa, South Carolina’s top fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, wife of Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa, and Charleston native, remembers every stage of her father’s increasing lack of ability to remember.
“My Daddy, Henry Kangeter, was the sweetest, sweetest man, and a gifted engineer. We watched that crumble away for one and a half years until he reached full blown Alzheimer’s and the man we knew left,” Rosa said. “After the medicine stopped working his decline was swift and he died in 2009. I do remember a shining moment when we both realized, for just a moment, that he understood who I was and that I loved him.”
And then in a terrible twist of fate, Rosa’s mother-in-law, Liz Rosa, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She is being cared for in a home for patients who have the disease.
“We need a cure – for the sake of everyone – we need a cure. That’s why my sister Tommye and I started Daddy’s Darlings and we invite everyone in the Lowcountry to join us,” Rosa explained.
Because of the success of Daddy’s Darlings as the number one fundraiser in the state, The Rosas and their son and daughter-in-law are featured on a new billboard that is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, erected the week of August 19, on I-26 in Charleston.
“We wanted to thank Donna and her team for their support and hard work. We also wanted to support the Rosas and bring Donna’s story to others to help them understand that they are not the only ones writhing from the effects of this frightful disease,” said Ashton Houghton, vice president of development, Alzheimer’s Association, Charleston chapter.
Rosa’s father called her and her sister his “darlings” which is why they named the team Daddy’s Darlings. The team of Citadel alumni, basketball players, cadets, relatives and friends welcome all supporters to join them.
The 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s begins at 8 a.m., Sept. 20, at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina at the Lookout Pavilion located at 20 Patriots Point Rd. Visit Donna Rosa’s Alzheimer’s Walk pages to learn more, join Daddy’s Darlings, or make a donation by clicking here.
“It’s just very, very humbling. Our team is just doing what other teams do. I am fortunate to have loyal supporters that helped us get where we are as the top team in South Carolina. Thanks to them I was actually the 64th highest fundraiser in the nation too. I know Daddy’s up there pretty happy right now,” Rosa said.
All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer's further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association. All donations are tax-deductible.