Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Fairgrounds
by Bradley Hartsell
This Saturday, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s comes to Coweta in an effort to fight the increasingly deadly disease.
On Nov. 2 at 8 a.m. an expected 400 people will converge on the Coweta County Fairgrounds for a two-mile walk to raise funds and awareness, and connect with people who’ve been affected by Alzheimer’s.
According to Alzheimer’s Association’s Emily Richter, the event coordinator, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, only growing in regularity. In fact, according to Richter, it’s the only disease increasing in numbers with no known cure.
“Rallying a community is so important for raising awareness,” said Richter. “This event is the culmination of the idea that there’s still a lot of work left to be done but we’re going to come together and do what it takes to finish the fight.”
The Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter has started its very own Go Purple campaign, which gets its unofficial kickoff with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Go Purple is functioning almost as a back-to-basics approach to spreading the word against the disease, primarily facilitated through local businesses.
“It’s our campaign to fight Alzheimer’s,” Richter said. “It’s bringing the focus back on why we’re doing this, which is to help the people who are fighting this disease.”
Among those articipating in Saturday’s walk are representatives with Coweta’s own Cambridge House, which specializes in Alzheimer’s and memory loss day care. Fundraisers like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s help supplement Cambridge House, allowing them to bolster their provided care, according to Cambridge House Executive Director Mary Ann Neureiter.
Cambridge House has been raising funds in anticipation for the walk with events like a yard sale and a spaghetti dinner, among others. Cambridge House’s team of ten, made up of staff and volunteers who registered online for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s effort, work to raise as much funding as possible, which all goes to research and support for those in need of supplemental care, according to Neureiter.
Neureiter feels the importance of events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s because of how Alzheimer’s numbers are on the rise. Richter and Neureiter both emphasised why fundraising is imperative: doctors need to first know “why” before they can even begin to think about solutions.
“I feel it’s important to fight because more and more people are being diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it’s also affecting younger people, not just seniors,” explained Neureiter. “We need to be doing something to discover the cause for Alzheimer’s and get it diagnosed and treated early.”
“It really wreaks havoc on families. I don’t think there’s anybody who hasn’t been affected by Alzheimer’s. That alone is reason to fight it,” she said.
Richter explained the Alzheimer’s Association is seeing people as young as their 30s and 40s getting the disease.
“It’s pretty scary,” said Richter. “We’re pushing [the cause] for that in our research efforts. You don’t think you’re going to be in your 50s and have dementia, but it’s happening, unfortunately.”
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. To help get involved or ger more information for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, go to act.alz.org/newnan .