Walks make strides to end Alzheimer’s

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Camilla Farrell

Living with Alzheimer’s by Camilla Farrell

Lace up your sneakers, grab your friends, coworkers and family and form a team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

We invite Rhode Islanders to unite in a movement to reclaim the future for millions by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 20 at Roger Williams Park in Providence and Sept. 27 in Newport.

For the Providence venue, registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Temple to Music, and the walk starts at 9. In Newport, registration is at noon at the O’Hare Academic Center on the campus of Salve Regina University. The walk along Bellevue Avenue starts at 1 p.m.

We are encouraging you to make your walk personal and share with us why you are participating and raising funds for the cause. Share your stories about your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease at work; in emails; on Facebook, Twitter and Flicker; or however you connect with people so we can bring more attention, funding and research to this disease.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is an experience for more than 2,000 participants in Rhode Island who will learn about Alzheimer’s disease and how to get involved with advocating for more services to help victims and their families and for additional research into treatment and prevention.

Each walker will also join in a meaningful ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease, holding up colorfulKent Team takes a Walk flowers in honor of loved ones.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and is now the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. There are 25,000 Rhode Islanders with Alzheimer’s disease, but as many as 100,000 are affected by caring for those patients.

The staff of my chapter thanks Briarcliffe for being the platinum sponsor of the walk for the eighth consecutive year. With the help of our sponsors and teams we will reach our goal of $500,000.

For the 12th year in a row, WPRI 12 will be our media sponsor. We thank the staff at the television station for its support, and we are especially grateful to Channel 12 news anchor Mike Montecalvo for serving as master of ceremonies for several years. We also want to thank Rhode Island celebrity Tony (Lepore) the Dancing Cop, who has participated in the walk for 12 years.

“There has never been a greater need for the citizens of Rhode Island to join in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Donna McGowan, Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter executive director. “Funds raised will provide care and support services to Rhode Islanders living with Alzheimer’s, while also contributing to advancing critically-needed research.”

During each walk event, there will be several exhibitors, dancing to live and recorded music, food, giveaways and children’s games.

To be a sponsor or to join or register a team, go to alz.org/ri; call the chapter office at (800) 272-3900 or (401) 421-0008; or contact me at cfarrell@alz.org or Bella Garcia agarcia@alz.org.

Camilla Farrell is development director of the Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter in Providence. She can be reached at (401) 421-0008 or camilla.farrell@alz.org.

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