January 28, 2020

My Champion: My Dad, Edward Johnston
by Meredith Johnston

The Johnston Family of Glen Ellyn, Illinois is on intimate terms with Alzheimer’s. “My mom is the 4th generation in her family to have the disease.” says Meredith Johnston. “We’ve been dealing with her slow descent for more than 10 years.” That familiarity, however, didn’t lessen the devastation when her father was diagnosed 4 years ago. “My dad was a good man, and we had to watch the disease change him.”

Family, Alzheimer's, Cure

A Johnston Family Gathering

Edward Johnston was an on-the-road salesman, traveling the Midwest with his high-end silver flatware and jewelry for 40 years. “He loved the road because he loved his cars and driving,” says daughter Meri who competes in performance driving events and autocrosses herself.

Me and My Dad

Meri Johnston and her dad Edward

Meri got her love of cars from her dad. As a young girl, she would come home to find him in the garage with the hood up. Her job was simply to hold the light while he worked but she’d get bored and her thoughts would wander until he’d shout out, “Light, please. Light, please” and he’d help her refocus her attention.

Meri first saw the Racing to End Alzheimer’s tent 3 years ago at Road America. It made an immediate impression and they’ve donated every year since then. “My dad passed away in February 2018 and seeing his name on the driver’s side back door was really emotional.” she says. “This disease is horrible but your organization has made my family and me happy.”

As we were about to post this, we received the following note from Meredith:

“I just wanted to say thank you so much. A friend of mine is down at Daytona and – without me talking to her about it at all – she found my dad’s name on the car and sent it to me. And, as happens every time, I promptly got teary eyed from both gratitude to everyone involved and the ache of missing him. Thankfully most of the colleagues who sit near me aren’t in the office to see me with tears down my cheeks.”

Edward Johnston is Racing to End Alzheimer's

Honoring Edward Johnston

We are grateful to the Johnston Family for sharing their story with us.

If you would like to honor your loved one by placing their name on the #80 BMW for the 2020 racing season, please donate today at r2endalz.org.

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