It’s the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. There are no survivor stories. And the caregivers of the victims of this disease often die before the victim’s themselves. Just about all of you who read this have either lost a friend or family member to this disease. So far, I’ve lost three and another is suffering from the disease right now.

I lost my grandmother to the disease in 1984. I lost an aunt to it in 1994 and another in 2006. I have an uncle who was recently diagnosed as well. I’m talking about Alzheimer’s. It gets its name from Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, who presented a case history of a 51-year-old female who suffered from a rare brain disorder at a medical conference in 1906.

The disease didn’t gain much attention until legendary actress Rita Hayworth was diagnosed in 1980. This brought international attention to the little-known disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Alzheimer’s accounts for about 70 percent of all dementia cases in America. It’s a devastating death sentence that can take years, sometimes decades, to slowly erode the mind and rob it’s victims of their ability to carry out even the most mundane tasks.

This graphic shows the differences between a healthy brain and one affected by Alzheimer's Disease:

Image credit: Garrondo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]This Saturday, The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place at Sikes Lake on the campus of Midwestern State University. The annual walk is the largest event the organization holds to help raise funds for research, care and caregiver support as well as awareness of the disease and its effects. This year’s Walk gets under way with check-in at 7:30 am. The opening ceremony is at 8:30 am and the Walk begins at 9 am. Live music will be provided by local cowboy and western music group Prairie Moon.

If you’d like to sign up as an individual or group or simply make a donation, click here. You can also contact the local chapter’s director, Patty Taylor at 940-767-8800 or email her at ptaylor@alz.org

On behalf of all the families impacted by this disease, thank you for your support of The Alzheimer’s Associations fight against this disease.

 

Sources: Alzheimer's Association, Wikipedia, CDC