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Walk to End Alzheimer's puts focus on 'most expensive disease in America' with no cure

A Promise Garden Ceremony is held 15 minutes before the start of the walk. (Photo from Alz.org/Facebook)

A Promise Garden Ceremony is held 15 minutes before the start of the walk. (Photo from Alz.org/Facebook)

The local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has set a goal of raising $354,000 at the Louisville Walk to End Alzheimer’s this year on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Waterfront Park at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 9 and a Promise Garden Ceremony at 9:45 a.m.
“To date, more than 700 walkers and nearly 150 teams have registered for the walk, and they’ve already turned in $122,000, putting us slightly ahead of our goals for this time of year,” said walk co-chair Bonnie J. Hackbarth. “Our teams have organized third-party fun-raising events such as yard sales, a baseball tournament, a group painting class, silent auctions, fund-raising dinners and even a pageant to recruit team members and raise funds. We’re all dedicated to helping find a cure and keeping our children from having to deal with this awful disease.”
“Funds raised by the walk provide support services for the 67,000 Kentuckians and 100,000 Indiana residents living with Alzheimer’s, as well as their families and caregivers, while also contributing to critically needed research to find a cure,” said Teri Shirk, executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Shirk noted that Alzheimer’s disease is the only one of the top 10 causes of death in America for which there is no treatment to stop or even slow its progression.

   This man, seen here with his granddaughter, was diagnosed two years ago with early on-set Alzheimer's. (Photo from alz.org/Facebook)

This man, seen here with his granddaughter, was diagnosed two years ago with early on-set Alzheimer’s. (Photo from alz.org/Facebook)

“Alzheimer’s is also the most expensive disease in America,” Shirk said.
In addition to raising funds, the Louisville Walk to End Alzheimer’s is an opportunity for thousands of participants in the Greater Louisville area to learn about Alzheimer’s and what they can do to help change the trajectory of the disease, which is predicted to afflict more than 86,000 Kentuckians and 130,000 Indiana residents by 2025.
Participants will learn about advocacy opportunities, the latest in Alzheimer’s research and clinical trial programs, and support programs and services for families dealing with the disease. Each walker will also get to sign their loved one’s name on a colored pinwheel flower that will be planted in a Promise Garden to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Major sponsors for the 2014 Louisville Walk to End Alzheimer’s are Atria Senior Living, Elmcroft Senior Living, the Episcopal Church Home, Kindred Healthcare and the Sam Swope Care Center at the Masonic Home of Louisville.
The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana holds 12 walks across the region from September through October each year. Chapter-wide, the goal of the combined 2014 walks is slightly more than $1.1 million. During the 2013 walk season, the chapter hit the $1 million fund-raising mark for the first time in its history.
“We hope to reach or exceed our goals in every one of our markets this year. We set very aggressive – but also very reachable -targets. We’re encouraging teams and individuals across the entire chapter’s service area to start now, if they haven’t already, to raise funds for their walk teams so we can continue to meet the growing need for the services and programs we provide,” said Shirk.
The chapter provides walk team captain kits and a variety of other tools to help teams reach their fund-raising goals.
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The local chapter provides services to 125 counties across Kentucky and Southern Indiana, including support groups, caregiver training and a 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900). For a full list of the chapter’s programming in the area or for other information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit alz.org/kyin. To participate in one of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s events within the chapter’s region, visit walk and click on the appropriate state.
From Alz.org/kyin

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