Support Alzheimer’s walk

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dozens of people from all over Western Tidewater will gather in Suffolk on Saturday to raise money to fight a terrible disease.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, will return to Suffolk for the third year in a row. Family and friends of those who have been affected by Alzheimer’s, as well as those who want their children and grandchildren to grow up in a world free of Alzheimer’s, will take their fight to the streets.

The awful disease of Alzheimer’s is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. About 5.4 million Americans currently live with it.

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The debilitating disease causes sufferers to lose cognitive and physical functions, affects their family and friends and eventually steals their lives.

With an increasingly aging population, Alzheimer’s is part of the health crisis looming on the horizon for America. This nonprofit organization is leading the way in the fight.

The association has local chapters across the nation that provide services in the community to Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. It also operates a helpline that offers information to more than 250,000 callers each year; helps connect patients with clinical trials that improve research; provides education and advocacy programs; and has awarded more than $279 million in research grants to scientists since 1982.

With the litany of services the Alzheimer’s Association provides with the money it raises through events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, it’s hard to find a reason not to support them.

Even if you can’t go on Saturday morning, consider making a donation or committing to next year’s walk. Your grandchildren may thank you.