Many walk to raise Alzheimer's awareness

Alzheimer's Walk
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is always searching for ways to raise awareness and funds to find a cure.

Saturday, they held an event on Arkansas State University's campus for that very reason.

The Walk to End Alzheimer's is the association's signature event where they raise money that goes toward support groups, educational programs, and research for an end to the disease.

According to the association, there are over 5 million people with Alzheimer's including 60,000 Arkansans.

"With many baby boomers now turning 65, that number is only going to increase," said Susan Neyman, executive director of the organization.

The event included music, a promise garden ceremony where people held flowers of different colors signifying what the disease meant to them, and a two-mile walk toward a world without Alzheimer's.

Neyman said she hopes many participants walk with a sense of hope for a cure.

"I know that they feel like they are a part of this cause," said Neyman. "They are doing something that they are interested in this cause and they know that the final dollars needed to find a cure could come from right here in Jonesboro Arkansas. How great would that be?"

Sarah Anderson and her sister Peggy Sills have worked in a nursing home for several years and they said walking in this event raises awareness for something they've seen first hand.

"It is just a part of life," Anderson said.

"It makes me proud to see so many people come out and support this event," Sills said.

Now the two sisters encourage everyone to understand the importance of being knowledgeable about the disease.

"Read up on Alzheimer's," Anderson said. "Learn about it because somebody in your family is going to go through it or have already went through it."

Neyman said last year this walk alone raised $45,000.

She hopes that this year's total from all 5 walks in Arkansas will be at $85,000.

More than anything she wants the public to know that the organization is there for anyone needing help.

"If you are in a situation where you have Alzheimer's or suspect it in you or someone you know, contact us at 1-800-272-3900," Neyman said.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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