MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Alzheimer’s Association is a group dedicated to funding research for treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Over the weekend they held their annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s here in Marquette down in the lower harbor, The Association was formed by a group of caregivers interested in raising awareness and innovating research for Alzheimer’s.
Amanda was one of this year’s participants and an RN with the Jacobetti Veterans Home here in Marquette. She said she walks for her dad, who was diagnosed 10 years ago “I watched him battle, watched my family battle. It’s awful and nobody should have to go through it.”
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that gradually destroys memory and other mental functions. Millions of Americans live with this disease and even more deal with the mental, emotional and financial strain that it can cause.
Jennifer Huetter is the executive director of Brookridge Heights, an assisted living and memory support facility in Marquette, her and her staff work with patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia every day. “We see what they go through and finding a cure and finding relief for those families is vitally important, so it’s very personal to us because we care for those residents.’
The Alzheimer’s Association runs on volunteers, and everyday community members who have been affected by this disease and work hard to raise the money for a cure. The Walk serves to raise awareness for the cause, and despite the rain, walkers made it out to make sure they were seen.
Anna Nelson is a long time participant, she started the walks in college, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when her mother-in-law was passed away that she had a personal connection to the walk. “Just a couple year ago my mother in law passed away at the age of 56 from the disease, so now every year our family gets together, and we come out and we all do the walk together in memory of her.”
More than 66 million people around the world interface with this disease in some way, whether they are diagnosed, a family member, or a caregiver. The goal of the associations is to one day find a cure for all of those affected.