The annual three-mile Walk to End Alzheimer’s is just around the corner and is dedicated to help raise funds to battle the disease that claimed more than 93,500 lives in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The walk begins at 9 a.m. on Oct. 13 with the Promise Garden Ceremony starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Heritage Park amphitheater.
Dorthy Anderson, an employee of Simmons Bank in Fort Worth, is this year’s Alzheimer’s Association North Central Texas Chapter committee chair and has been involved with the organization for seven years.
“I lost my mother about seven years ago and I got involved in the Alzheimer’s Association and it’s just an amazing organization to help people,” Anderson said. “It’s just really an honor to be the committee chair and it’s a way to reach out to people and make sure they know that they’re not alone in this journey. The sad part about it is my mother knew something was wrong with her so to be in your mind and to know that you can’t think of the right word or do something that you’re use to doing is kind of scary.”
The Promise Garden Ceremony has been an opening tradition for many years and Theresa Hocker with the association said it continues to be a meaningful experience.
“So we have four different colored flowers, which are pinwheel flowers, and when people register they get a wristband and each color represents something different,” Hocker said. “One represents a person living with the disease, one is for people who have lost someone to the disease, one is for people who are currently caring for someone and the fourth flower is kind of a catch-all, an advocate for the cause. Everybody has some kind of connection to the disease. We’re basically promising that we won’t forget and we will keep fighting for the cause, it’s our mission. But otherwise, we want people to have a good time with this event.”
Pre-registration for the event is encouraged and an early bird check-in will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Antonio’s Restaurant.
“We would really love people to come to early check-in because it’s also a fundraiser,” Hocker said. “So people that come can say they’re here to support the Alzheimer’s Association or the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. If someone raised $100 they get a T-shirt and so they will have it for the day of the walk.”
Hocker said this is the association’s signature event that takes place all over the U.S.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the only one in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed, according to the association’s website.
“It’s affecting young people too and a lot of people think it’s an old person’s disease, but it’s not,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t help my mother but I hope I can help other people and hope we can find a cure.”
For more information on the walk or to register, visit act.alz.org or the Walk to End Alzheimer’s — Weatherford Facebook page.