WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Reports show more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and one in three seniors die with the disease or another form of dementia.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths increased 16% in the United States. That’s why many community members joined the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday, September 25.
The walk initially had a goal of raising $94,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. At last check, over $99,000 was raised, and over 370 people participated, according to their website.
Those who attended said the walk sheds some much-needed light on the challenges of the disease.
For participants like Carrie Minniear, joining the fight to end Alzheimer’s in the annual walk means everything to her because she knows first-hand how challenging the illness can be.
“The Alzheimer’s Association was such a support to me when my husband had Alzheimer’s,” Minniear said. “I went to all the support groups.”
Minniear said her husband lost his battle to the disease a year ago.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises awareness about the fight to end the disease, as well as money for research to do just that.
Alzheimer’s Association’s Regional Director Patty Taylor said testimonies like Minniear’s are the reason they do what they do.
“To put on this event and to be able to give people who are living with this disease some power against it — caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed and alone and those who’ve lost loved ones,” Taylor said. “They want to have a voice, and bringing everyone together to have that voice means a lot to them and to me.”
Though the event took place in a hybrid form last year because of Covid-19, Taylor said having residents out in-person this year made all the difference.
“Basically everybody was like ‘Please bring it back in person,’ and so our plan for this year and everything that we did, was trying to work towards bringing it back,” Taylor said.
Minniear said she knows her husband is smiling down at the outpour of support.
“My husband, if he was alive and well, he would walk, he would support this too,” Minniear said. “I know that he would be very proud that my family and I continue to support the Alzheimer’s Association.”
“I’m elated, honestly; I’m so glad to be back in-person this year,” Taylor said. “There’s that sort of excitement, just the support from the community, makes it even better; I’m thrilled.”
Taylor and Minniear hope Texomans will continue in the fight for a cure — one step at a time.
If you didn’t make it out to the walk, there are still ways you can donate to the cause.