CIRCLEVILLE — Last weekend, color filled the Mary Virginia Crites Hannan Park, as those that have been touched directly or indirectly by Alzheimer’s Disease gathered to raise funds in the name of research.
The Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio hosted its annual walk at the park on Saturday in which 540 people attended to honor caregivers, family members and people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior, worsening to the point that it interferes with daily tasks. Currently there is no cure for the disease.
Lindsay Collins, assistant director of development, said this year’s walk filled the park with color.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather, it was a beautiful day,” she said. “It was really cool to see the entire park lift up their flowers and to see the sea of [pinwheel] flowers given to the walkers in the park. It was a really cool day.”
Each walker is given a flower. Purple flowers are provided to people who have lost someone to the disease; yellow flowers are for caregivers to people with the disease; blue flowers are for those that have the disease; and orange flowers are given to people who “envision a world without Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Collins couldn’t explain it, but said she felt like there were more smiles than usual especially during the moving and somber ceremony.
“I don’t know if it’s because people have come year after year but it seems like everyone seemed more hopeful this year,” she stated. “Everyone was loving on each other more, and being excited to be out there rather than the somber, sad feeling. People looked so excited and happy. They were celebrating and honoring life. It was very uplifting this year.”
Collins said on walk day, $3,616 was raised alone bringing the total to $63,788 as of Aug. 28. Fundraising will continue through December.
“We’re striving to hit $85,000 this year so any additional funds would be wonderful,” Collins added. “A good portion of all of our money raised goes toward research. We hope the more money we raise the more research we can do. If we don’t have research we can help slow down or stop the disease.”
An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia. This includes an estimated 5.5 million people 65 years of age and older.
According to statistics, one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. The percentage of people with Alzheimer’s dementia increases with age.
Eighty-one percent of people with Alzheimer’s are age 75 or older.
Only one in four people with Alzheimer’s disease have been diagnosed. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are the top cause for disabilities in later life.
Statistics further indicate that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Between 2017 and 2025, every state is expected to see at least a 14 percent rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
To donate to the walk, visit act.alz.org/circlevilleohio or a donation can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association office at 1379 Dublin Road, Columbus Ohio 43215.