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Race car dedicated to Alzheimer’s awareness

Photo by Michele Newbanks Dusty Boley of Fleming shows the names of some of those affected by Alzheimer's disease that grace the front of his modified dirt track race car.

Fleming residents Dusty Boley and his wife, Teresa, have found a unique way to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Boley’s modified dirt track race car was given an Alzheimer’s awareness theme for the 2020 race season, complete with names of 65 people affected by the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, according to the National Institute on Aging. It is a disease that Teresa knows well.

Her father, George, showed signs of dementia and spent time in a nursing home. She met other people dealing with the disease and learned all the different ways Alzheimer’s affects both the victims and their families. He is now at their home with a caregiver during the day while they work at their business, Boley Enterprises in Marietta.

“Unless you’ve lived this life, you don’t understand it,” she explained. “This disease is on a serious rise and so many people are affected by it. People want to know they aren’t alone in this battle.”

Photo by Michele Newbanks Dusty Boley's modified dirt track car has been dedicated to Alzheimer's awareness and includes the names of those affected by the disease.

It was getting to be race season and Teresa asked Dusty what he was going to do with his race car. He wanted to do something simple. She wanted to take his love of racing and do something positive with it.

“I’m ‘save the world Teresa,'” she said. “He 100 percent supports what I do.”

What they decided to do was post on the Facebook page for Dusty Boley Racing, asking for names of caregivers and families affected by the disease. Some of the names on the car are also from the memory care unit where Teresa’s father was housed.

“It was kind of amazing the response we got,” she said. “It was amazing how many people are affected just here in Marietta.”

This is the first year for this theme. Dusty said he races at dirt tracks within a two to three hour radius of home.

“We’ve skipped around a lot in Ohio and West Virginia,” he explained.

Dirt tracks are finally starting to open, with tracks closed first because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then because of rain.

“We’ll probably shoot for Friday night at the Ohio Valley Speedway in Lubeck (W.Va.),” he said of their first race. “Mother Nature permitting.”

His car is set up with a 5-point safety harness and he wears head and neck restraints in case his car gets hit.

“I’m safer in the car than on the streets,” he said. “There’s a lot more safety equipment around you.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Alzheimer’s disease at a glance:

•Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.

• It is ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.

• It is ranked third behind heart disease and cancer as cause of death for older Americans.

•It is the most common cause of dementia.

Source: National Institute on Aging.

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