DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The annual Dayton Walk to End Alzheimer’s brings thousands of people together touched by the disease.
Organizers are in the final planning stages, drumming up support and money.
Since the 1990s, people in the Miami Valley have been walking to find a cure. Amanda Zemmer, the 2019 chair for the Dayton walk, is in her fourth year walking.
“My grandpa is why I walk,” says Zemmer.
His battle with dementia motivated her to become a nurse, then inspired her volunteer efforts.
Others are newbies, like Kathey Majid-Smith.
“This is my first time! I’m so excited! I’m so excited!” exclaims Majid-Smith.
She’s walking for her mom who died in 2011.
“I didn’t know dementia was a part of Alzheimer’s,” admits Majid-Smith. “It’s like hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately when it’s 20/20 you can’t go back. There’s nothing that you can do about it. But moving forward, you can — you know — tell others about it, you recognize it should it happen again, and you’re armed with the information that you need.”
She, along with more than 1,100 pairs of sneakers will step onto Fifth Third Field October 5. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. A ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 10:30 a.m.
Thirty-thousand people in the Miami Valley are currently living with the disease. Ninety-thousand people are caregivers. It’s a fatal disease with no treatment and no cure.
The walk is the main source of fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association. Dollars go to care, support, and research for finding a cure.
“We’ve raised about $223,000. We are on pace from last year,” says Zemmer.
Organizers want to more than double that with $570,000 as the target.
“I’m hopeful that we will get closer to that 570-number and I — we have a large group of really dedicated people that come back year after year that have done some amazing things, and we’d like to have more that get involved,” says Zemmer.
“Why can’t we be the first ones — to be the first one to end Alzheimer’s disease?” questions Majid-Smith.
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