TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Hundreds of people gathered Saturday morning outside Memorial Stadium to help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease during the annual “Walk to end Alzheimer’s.”
There are over 6 million Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s along with 11 million unpaid caregivers.
Laura Forbes is the communication director for the Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and she explains how events like these have already made an impact on the cure process.
“We now have two FDA approved treatments that slow the progression of the disease in the early stages. We are not yet to a cure, but we are getting there. It was just a few ago that we had only had treatments for them symptoms.”
The majority of the people in attendance are directly affected by this disease, including volunteer Maya Snyder. Her grandpa recently passed away from Alzheimer’s and she says this event helped show her she is not alone.
“It’s really amazing to see so many people get together to raise money for a cure because we are hopefully in a day and age where we have a cure and can eventually get there.”
This is also a great place to learn about local resources that can help with this process. Troy Price is a Terre Haute patrolman who also has been affected by Alzheimer’s says that these events let people know that they are not alone.
“I do think this is a very important event to spread awareness because a lot of people don’t know that there is help out there and there are people going through the same struggle. It’s nice to make connections, network, and see what’s available out there.”
The most powerful event of the morning was the promise garden ceremony. This is when people hold up color pin wheel flowers that represent their connection to this disease.
Forbes says that this ceremony reminds everyone why they are here.
“There’s a moment when they hold them all high and you can see this real visual representation of the affect of the disease in the community. It’s so impactful and it’s such a reminder of why we are here fighting this,” added Forbes.
The Alzheimer’s Association will travel up to Kokomo next Saturday for another Walk to End Alzheimer’s.