The statistics for Alzheimer’s disease and the projections are staggering. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and by 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.
Owensboro’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which will be held Saturday at Smothers Park, hopes to raise $80,000 to assist with the care, support and research within the Alzheimer’s Association. There are currently 53 teams and 286 participants fundraising for this walk.
Alzheimer’s, the progressive mental deterioration that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior in middle age, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is very excited for the Owensboro Walk to End Alzheimer’s since we expect roughly 400 people to walk to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and donate to fund crucial research and provide educational programs and services,” said Kelly Sturgeon, walk manager.
With more than 16 million people acting as caregivers, the association uses funds to offer a national helpline that is staffed by specialists and clinicians, online message boards for information exchanges and relationships can develop and in-person support groups within communities.
On walk day, Promise Garden flowers are given to walkers to identify each participants’ significant reason for the walk. Blue represents someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease. Yellow is for caregivers and orange identifies everyone who supports a world without Alzheimer’s.
“This event is the driving force to make our dream of finding a cure, one day, our reality,” Sturgeon said.
Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m. with the ceremony beginning at 9:45 a.m. and the two-mile walk taking place at 10 a.m.
There is no registration fee, but all walkers are encouraged to make a donation and commit to raising funds to fight against Alzheimer’s. Children are allowed to participate in the walk.
Smothers Park is located at 199 W. Veterans Blvd.
To register, donate or find volunteer opportunities for the upcoming walk, visit the walk’s webpage.