Walking tall against a deadly disease

The St. Charles County Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s gains national attention as it raises funds and awareness to combat the degenerative disease

By Brett Auten

It is known as one of the most horrible diseases there are.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and it is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. Additionally, more than 15 million family and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the U.S. In Missouri alone, more than 110,000 people are living with the disease and 314,000 caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting St. Charles County residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Walk will take place on Sept. 29, at St. Charles Community College – Yellow Lot.

Participants will complete a one-or-three-mile walk and join in a meaningful tribute ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

The St. Charles County Walk is one of two walks (out of 600-plus walks nationwide) selected as a Spotlight Walk. In a nutshell, that means a team from the national Alzheimer’s office is coming to document the walk and take photos and videos which will be used in the national Walk to End Alzheimer’s marketing campaign in 2019. The St. Charles Walk was selected for several reasons, including the strong community support and involvement, significant revenue and participation growth (both past and potential) and a picturesque walk route, thanks to partnering St. Charles Community College.

“From the committee members to the volunteers, are very honored and excited to have been chosen,” Mary Williams, St. Charles County Walk Manager, said. “St. Charles, along with Fresno, will be the face of the 2019 campaign. Not only will there be photos from our event used on social media and postcards and other promotional items, but also interviews with people whose stories will be part of the national campaign.”

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.

“The fight to end Alzheimer’s is growing more urgent every year,” Stacy Tew-Lovasz, Greater Missouri Chapter President, said. “Each Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a new opportunity to raise money and awareness and show families they are not alone.”

To register and/or sign up as a Team Captain, join a team or register to walk as an individual visit act.alz.org/stcwalk2018. For information, email Williams at marwilliams@alz.org.

In addition to completing the walk, participants will learn about Alzheimer’s disease, local support programs and services, advocacy opportunities and clinical studies enrollment.

“People are surprised when they learn everything that we can do for them,” Williams said. “The Alzheimer’s community is a community that needs to come together. They feel alone. Here, they can learn first-hand what services we do. We can help them from the first step through the heart of that journey.”

There will also be a Kids Zone with a firetruck, food, beverages, and family fun.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. For more information, visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

PULLBOX:

St. Charles Alzheimer’s Association Community Programs

Program: Effective Communication Strategies
Place: St. Charles City-County Library McClay Branch
Date/Time: Wed, Sept 26, 6:30-8:30pm

Support group: NHC of Maryland Heights
Place: 2920 Fee Fee Rd Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Date/Time: 3rd Thursday of the month, 7-8:30pm

Support group: Early Stage Graduates
Place: Spencer Road Library Community Commons
Date/Time: 1st Tuesday of the month, 10:30am-12pm
RSVP: Wanda Hults, 636-346-7491

Support group: Nurses & Company
Place: 115 Piper Hill Dr., 2nd Floor
Date/Time: 2nd Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.

Support group: Heritage Pointe
Place: Country Kitchen, 250 Savannah Terrace
Date/Time: 2nd Monday of the month, 10 a.m.

24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900): Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for information, resources and support about memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Online Support: The Greater Missouri Chapter website
(alz.org/greatermissouri) houses a large wealth of information about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and services offered by the chapter.

CUTLINE: Submitted photos Participants from the 2017 St. Charles Walk to End Alzheimer’s.