Atlanta, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – From start to finish, there was nothing but love, support and hope at this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
For Harriet Watson and her family, this is more than just a walk. Her brother was diagnosed at the age of 50.
“I hate when he can’t remember a lot of things, some family members that he can’t remember,” she said.
They were among more than 2,000 participants, many of whom shared stories of how they watched their loved one’s mind slowly decline.
“First they lose the fact that their loved one doesn’t know who they are, and then it’s the actual death,” says Laura Aranda, of Greenwood Place Assisted Living and Memory Care.
Spencer Graves’ mother was only 55 when she was diagnosed.
“My mom actually gave my dad the car keys and said ‘If that’s true, if that’s what’s happening, I don’t want to drive anymore,'” he said.
Participants held flowers of different colors, each of which corresponded to their relationship with Alzheimer’s disease, whether it was a caregiver, an ally in war, a person in battle. battling this disease or someone who has passed away. Atlanta News First is a proud media sponsor, with host Brooks Baptiste leading and sharing her own experiences.
“In my grandfather’s case, there wasn’t a single conversation about him slowly but surely declining,” Baptiste said.
Baptiste hopes events like these can raise awareness about the debilitating disease, and raise money for research.
“Something special that we see in the black community… people don’t want to tackle the challenge that is really plaguing our community,” he said.
Organizers say this year’s walk and fundraiser has been a resounding success.
“We raised $521,000 and some changes,” said Amy Richardson, senior director of development, Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia.
The organization hopes to keep that momentum going, as researchers race to find better treatment options and ultimately a cure.
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