Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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The Alzheimer’s Association held its 26th annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday at Cascades Park.

The walk was one of 600 community walks across the country to unite communities to fight against the devastating disease.

Saturday’s event gave people a chance to come out and connect and raise money to fund research for Alzheimer’s, and to support those who live with the disease.

According to the association more than 500 thousand Floridians have Alzheimer’s, which means Florida is the second highest Alzheimer’s population in the country with 10 percent living in Florida.

Director of Communications and Public Policy, Michelle Branham suggests there is reason to be hopeful about the research.

“Some new science that we have put together at our international conference in D.C. this year showcased some promising research and science that otherwise really hasn’t been there in the past,” Branham said. “So as I look at this Tallahassee walk I think to myself these walks are really making such a big difference.”

Branham also stated the association raised over 137 million dollars last year around the country with their Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  

Vendors such as Costco, Firehouse Subs, Whataburger and others passed out snacks and water to participants before and after the walk.

The North Florida Animal Hospital was also in attendance with a cool down spot with water bowls for participants who brought their dogs along for the walk.  

Participants had an opportunity to create a “memory of the day” in the photo booth.

Corinne Smith, a Florida State University graduate student, who walks for her grandfather who died from Alzheimer’s, heard of this event through a friend who works in one of the labs in Tallahassee for Alzheimer’s. Smith says finishing the walk gives her a sense of importance.

“It makes me feel great, I feel like I’ve made a difference in the lives of those who are suffering with Alzheimer’s and working to find a cure.”

Doris Eckes and her sister Diana Moorman are part of team SanMarTennis- Alligator Point, they traveled from Cincinnati, Ohio to walk here in Tallahassee for their mother who died last year.    

“She was an excellent mother, excellent grandmother and great-grandmother and she had Alzheimer’s and passed away last year in March,” Eckes said. “She didn’t even know she had Alzheimer’s, we didn’t even know.”

Moorman believes that their would be proud to see her daughters representing her.

“She would love it that the three of us are together walking for her,” Moorman said .

They also walk with their oldest sister Sandy Matthews.

Participants of the walk all received promise garden flowers each flower represents the reason for joining The Walk to End Alzheimer’s. A blue flower represented someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a purple flower for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease, a yellow flower for someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and an orange flower is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

An array of colors flowed around Cascades Park as participants walked their two-mile journey to end Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s goal in Tallahassee is $59,700 and has thus far raised $47,520. Donations are still being accepted.

To make a donation visit http://act.alz.org/tallahassee