Healthy Living

Wrestler Marti Belle's Battle Against Alzheimer's Is Something Personal

Wrestler Marti Belle's Battle Against Alzheimer's Is Something Personal

Photo: Wrestler Marti Belle by Goddess of Cats (Flickr).

Marti Belle is just one of the women in the world who has proven that women can not only be strong, but powerful as well. In fact, she is the first female wrestler of Dominican descent in WWE history, and for her, one of her greatest honors is being able to represent Latinas in wrestling.

Belle was just a baby when she moved to La Romana in the Dominican Republic, and she moved to New York at the age of 7. By 9 years old, she already became fluent in the English language and according to her, watching wrestling has helped her a lot in learning the language. But, this doesn't mean that she has forgotten her roots.

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Now, you may be wondering why she decided to pursue wrestling? Well, Belle shared that she was fond of watching wrestling when she was a child and she has always been into sports. In fact, she played varsity softball and varsity volleyball, while also being involved in both dancing and acting. She started training in wrestling at the Gleason’s Gym with Johnny Rodz, who is a WWE Hall of Famer. When asked whether the transition from dancing and acting to wrestling was difficult, Belle stated that she was already accustomed to being in the spotlight.

Belle has been in the industry for almost a decade now and has made it to a point in her career where not many really make. Her message to others is never give up on your dreams. If you are passionate about something, you should never stop doing it, and it's important to keep pushing yourself. Even if the odds are against you. So, her message for others is to never give up on their dreams. If they ever found something that they are passionate about, they shouldn’t stop until they accomplish it. She also said that it is important to keep pushing themselves.

The struggles of an athlete

Being an athlete is not easy. Not only do they need to prepare themselves physically, but they also need to be mentally prepared as well. For Belle, that was the most challenging part. 

Apart from that, she also shared how she needed to wake up early in the morning just to train and workout in order to ensure that she was fully prepared for her fights. This is just one of the reasons why she is at the top of her game today! 

Another reason, however, is her grandmother, Martina, who has played a very important role in her life. Not only did her grandmother raised her, but she also was the one who encouraged her pursue the career that she always wanted. Her grandmother always was one of her biggest supporters, and she always wanted to see her granddaughter on the silver screen. With her, Belle found her true passion while watching novelas and wanted to pursue her own career in Mexico after finishing acting school

Sadly, in December 2016, she passed away after battling heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The passing of her grandmother was one of the most difficult things she had to endure. So, as a tribute to her grandmother, she wore a ribbon at WWE Network’s Mae Young Classic and plans to continue contributing to the research of Alzheimer's disease. In fact, she has previously launched a fundraiser online apart from the ALZ walk that took place in Sedalia, MO.

In most cases, people ages 65 and above are likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Nevertheless, it does not necessarily mean that people who are younger than this age group will not develop it. After all, there are different factors that may contribute to it. One of the risk factors is age. The older a person gets, the higher risk for them to acquire Alzheimer’s. People whose parents or siblings have this disease are likely to get it too. Apart from that, women get it more often.

There are also conditions that may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, many people who have down syndrome have developed Alzheimer’s disease when they got older. The reason for this is because they have an extra chromosome 21 copy that carries the APP gene, the gene that produces amyloid precursor protein. Too much of it leads to protein clumps buildup in the brain, which then affects the functioning of their brain cells.  

People who suffered from a brain or head injury can develop Alzheimer’s as well. In fact, some studies show that older people who have a history of traumatic injury have a greater risk than those who did not have a history of a head injury at all. Also, the more severe the injury is, the higher the risk will be.

Living with someone who has Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a disease that leads to the deterioration of the brain that gets worse over time. As a result, patients who have it suffer from memory problems and behavioral abnormalities. Probably, one of the worst things about Alzheimer’s is that for people who have it, nothing has changed. For them, they are still healthy. They think that they can still do the things that they have already stopped doing years ago. They become stubborn.

Alzheimer’s patients also become aggressive. It may be physically or verbally. Alzheimer’s patients can become aggressive even without any reason. So, it is very important for their family members to keep in mind that their loved ones are not doing it on purpose. They also tend to feel anxious, especially since they can’t process new information well and can’t remember the things that have just recently happened. They feel restless, and this is the reason why they have the tendency to move around. It may be triggered by certain circumstances like changes in the environment or moving to a new home.

Patience is very important for people who are living with someone who has Alzheimer’s, since Alzheimer’s patients tend to talk about the same time over and over again. Oftentimes, they even repeat the sentences word-for-word, even if it has only been a few minutes since they said it. They also often feel confused, which is the reason why they keep asking questions although they have already been answered.

Apart from patients, the families of Alzheimer’s patients need to accept the reality that their loved one is not the same as before. They need to accept that their loved one would not remember much about them even the special memories that they have shared together, but still, they should show the same amount of love that they have always given them.