Sep 23, 2008

Lynchburg Residents Team up to Fight Alzheimer's

by Danielle Talbert

The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Memory Walk is literally a race against time. The foundation held the two-mile event last Saturday at Riverside Park in Lynchburg and in the process raised $20,732 towards Alzheimer’s research.

Lynchburg residents teamed up to fight the disease by accepting monetary pledges before the event.

Activities for all ages were present at the event including a yard sale, carnival, live music, face painting and a dance team from Lynchburg College. Also present at the event was the Liberty women’s basketball team.

Memory Walk is a program that is held on a local level in communities across the nation. It is the largest event of its kind. The purpose is to increase public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and raise money to fight it. Since 1989, Memory Walk has raised over $230 million, according to alz.org. In 2007 alone, over $35 million was raised for providing nursing and support for those struggling with Alzheimer’s, as well as research for diagnosis and treatment.

Cindy BonDurant is the team captain for the Alzheimer‘s Association. “By participating in the 2008 Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk, I have committed to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, as well as for care and support for people already affected by the disease,” said BonDurant from her wheelchair.

For those unfamiliar with the disease, Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, which initiates memory loss and causes problems with thinking and behavior. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Approximately 1,200 people a day are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
The effects on individuals can be just as bad as the effects it has on family and friends. It is difficult to see family members slowly decline, but their lack of memory should not be taken personally. Alzheimer’s patients are known to act violently toward loved ones simply because they do not recognize them.

In the most severe stage of the disease, patients’ symptoms worsen to the point of not being able to swallow, according to alz.org.
Not only does the Alzheimer’s Association provide assistance for those affected with Alzheimer’s, but it also seeks to promote brain health to reduce the risk of dementia, which can be seen in people as young as 30 years old.

In the future, the association would like to broaden its national sponsorship and continue to inform people about Alzheimer’s in hopes of someday finding a cure.

 


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