Alzheimer’s Walk Offers Hope & Help
By Kathleen Holland
Chances are that you’ve heard of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. But beyond that, how much do you know?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease characterized by a decline in memory, problem-solving, and other skills that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. In North Carolina, more than 160,000 people are living with this disease. Should you or someone you know be among that number, there is a place for help.
The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in the 49 central and western North Carolina counties. The services they provide include a 24/7 Helpline, education programs, support groups, conferences, care consultations, clinical trial matches and much more. Their hope is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
As the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and with no current cure or way of slowing this disease down, it is more important than ever that we invest in that hope. The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter hosts 14 walks across central and western North Carolina during the months of September and October. In the Triad area, there are several walk locations to choose from: September 9 in Surry County, September 23 in Alamance County, October 14 in Winston-Salem, and October 21 in Guilford and Randolph Counties.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s participants complete a one- to two-mile walk and learn about Alzheimer’s disease, advocacy opportunities, clinical studies enrollment, and support programs and services that are offered by the Alzheimer’s Association. Walk participants participate in a meaningful tribute ceremony before each walk begins, done in honor of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory Walk® began in 1989 with nine Alzheimer’s Association chapters raising $149,000 from 1,249 participants. In 1993, Memory Walk grew into an event nationwide and raised $4.5 million at 167 locations. The Alzheimer’s Association has mobilized millions of Americans in the fight against the disease and continues to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. In 2016, more than 56,000 teams participated in more than 620 Walks across the country, raising more than $82 million.
Alzheimer’s disease is an epidemic devastating our families, our finances and our futures. The disease is all around us – but the power to stop it is within us. Join us for our annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s or get involved in another significant way. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.
Kathleen Holland is the Communication Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter.
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