Brown finds passion in Alzheimer’s

Published 5:54 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories leading up to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in September.

Denise Brown is the chairman for the 2018 Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s taking place this September.

Her Alzheimer’s story began more than a decade ago when she began working at Lake Prince Woods, a retirement community in Suffolk.

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“I slowly started getting more involved with the Alzheimer’s Association through the walk,” Brown said.

Five years ago, Brown and her coworkers from Lake Prince Woods started a team for the yearly event, and for two years she co-chaired the event.

The work that Brown does at Lake Prince Woods gives her an inside look at what Alzheimer’s does both to those with the disease and their caregivers, and the work has given her purpose.

“It’s just a passion of mine, seeing what the disease does to the folks diagnosed with it, the families and caregivers,” Brown said. “In 13 years, to see the number of people that have gone through Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases really just tugged at me, and it’s something where we have to do everything we can.”

A passion for helping and experience with the disease helps give Brown the drive to be successful in her position as the chair.

“I get the opportunity to really play such a big role in it, and I get to hopefully meet our goal for our fundraiser,” Brown said. “I want to get the word out there and get participants. I’m excited and I’m scared.”

The Western Tidewater walk has a goal to raise $85,000, and as of Saturday morning, participants have raised $11,668.

While the group wants to secure donations, they are also looking for people to participate in the event as teams or as volunteers.

Brown wants people to participate because they probably know someone that has been affected by this disease.

“Just looking at the people in your life that are touched by this is reason enough to participate,” Brown said. “You probably know someone with this disease, and you can look at the effect on your life and your community because of the disease. It’s important to ask if you can do something or anything.”

From now until the walk there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and help the teams raise money for their large goal.

The first event will be Cupcake Wars at Lake Prince Woods, and all the ticket sales will benefit the walk. Cupcake Wars is set for 2 p.m. July 28, and $5 admission gets attendees cupcake tasting and lemonade.

The walk will be held at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 15 at Constant’s Wharf, 110 E. Constance Road. For more information, visit