Alzheimer's walk aims to raise funds, awareness

Participants in the Walk to End Alzheimer's take part in the Promise Garden Ceremony to show their personal reasons for wanting to end the disease.

MICHIGAN CITY – The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Northwest Indiana residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5, in Washington Park, and funds raised will support critically needed research, as well as local education and support programs, according to Laura Forbes, spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Indiana Chapter.

Along the walk route, participants will learn about Alzheimer's disease and dementia, local volunteer opportunities, public policy initiatives, and local programs and services provided by the Association.

"On Walk day, participants will honor those affected by Alzheimer's disease with Promise Flowers during the poignant Promise Garden Ceremony – a moving display of hope to represent the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s," Forbes said.

"A blue flower indicates the participant is currently living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Yellow flowers signify Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers. Those carrying purple flowers have lost someone to the disease. Finally, participants with orange flowers support the Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s," she said.

“It is one thing to hear the sobering statistics on this disease, but the Promise Garden Ceremony is a powerful way to witness the impact in our local community firsthand,” said Sara Spruth, manager of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Lake County and Michigan City. “Many participants will even write a tribute to a loved one on the petals. It’s a meaningful way for friends and family to come together in the fight against Alzheimer’s.”

Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, slowed or cured. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease, including 110,000 in Indiana. Another 340,000 Hoosiers are serving as unpaid caregivers.

In 2018, Walk to End Alzheimer’s - Michigan City raised nearly $59,000. This year, the Greater Indiana Chapter aims to raise $65,000.

Participants are encouraged to pre-register online for free at alz.org/Indiana/walk. For Walk updates, participants can visit the Greater Indiana Chapter on Twitter and Instagram at @alzindiana, or join the local Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/michigancitywalk.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is supported by Nationwide Presenting Sponsor Edward Jones and Chapter-wide sponsor Trilogy Health Services. The Michigan City Walk is also supported by Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa. A Lake County Walk will take place Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point.

"Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s," Forbes said. "Together, we can end Alzheimer’s."

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