Monday, August 11, 2008

Fight the Killer, Move a Nation, Walk for Alzheimer's

I was eleven when my grandfather passed away. Although we were not very close, I have very dear memories of him. Because he lived with us until he died, he used to take me and my younger brother to his morning walks when we were very young. He would carry my younger brother on his back and hold my hand as we walk around the village. He would tell us about stuff he did when he was younger and how he had regretted learning to smoke, and that he had wanted time not to pass to quickly.

He was fine until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

He suffered a great deal. He forgot people very dear to him—their birthdays, their favorites, their interests, their names. Not once did he lose his way on his way back from his morning walks. He acted as if he was a child, his mood swings becoming more and more common as the disease progressed. Then in 1992, he succumbed to the disease. I cried when I found out about the news.

My grandfather is only one of the millions of elderly men and women suffering from the degenerative disease. An awareness of Alzheimer’s disease is all the more important in our society today. The Alzheimer’s Association is one organization that not only helps those who have the disease but also promotes awareness and education of one of the leading causes of death in the elderly worldwide. Through their program, Alzheimer's Memory Walk, they aim to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. The program calls on volunteers of all ages to become champions in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Because there are walks in more than 600 communities, this is the nation’s largest event for Alzheimer’s awareness. A typical Memory Walk is a 2-3 mile walk held on a weekend morning in the fall. When you team up with the Alzheimer’s Association, you are providing hope to millions of families and victims of the disease. When you become a team captain for the Alzheimer's Memory Walk you are declaring that you want to take the lead in bringing this disease down.

Together, we can build a world without Alzheimer's or its dreaded effects. And there wouldn't have to be grandchildren saddened by the loss of their grandparents to the silent killer.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk


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