To kick off Alzheimer’s awareness month, there will be a two mile Walk to End Alzheimer’s Sunday, Oct. 25 on the Auburn University campus hosted by the Sigma Kappa sorority. The walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for the disease that is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 disease in the United States that cannot be slowed, cured, or prevented according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and one in three seniors die of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia each year.
“I am just happy to be involved with an organization that is fighting so hard to find a cure for this horrible disease,” said Mary Davis Kennedy, organizer of the walk. “Most people aren’t aware of how many people are affected by Alzheimer’s and the strain it can put on caregivers. Volunteering is just a small way to do our part in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.”
So far, the original goal of $22,500 in donations has already been surpassed. As of today, $28,000 has been raised for the Alzheimer’s Association, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the association and finding a cure.
At the walk, participants will receive a promise garden flower. There are four different colors, and participants choose a color based on their connection to the disease.
“Blue represents someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Kennedy. “Purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease. Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, and orange is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.”
This is the second year for the walk to take place on Auburn’s campus, but there are already 33 teams and 357 walkers registered. It is free to walk, but participants are encouraged to fundraise. Teams and participants will meet on the Green Space, right in front of the stadium and next to the student center. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m., there is an opening ceremony at 2 p.m., and the actual walk will begin at 2:30 p.m.
“We encourage everyone to come out and support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” Kennedy said. “Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and has no cure. Walking is free, so grab your friends, family, or your 4-legged friend and come join us on the Green Space at 2:30 this Sunday!”