Walk helps fund research, support

Published 12:53 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

The cost of care continues to rise for Alzheimer’s patients, and there still isn’t a cure.

The U.S. Senate recently approved a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institute of Health. If signed into law, this would be the fourth consecutive year for an increase in funds.

While the increase in funds helps the research, those afflicted with Alzheimer’s and their families can still struggle to make ends meet. That is why those participating with the Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s work so hard to raise money.


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A portion of the money raised goes to the support and care of Alzheimer’s patients and families.

“The effect is truly on the family,” said chairperson Denise Brown. “They miss time from work, because they have to take their family to appointments. Everything is on the caregiver.”

Brown remembers watching a documentary about Alzheimer’s — she can’t remember the name, because she has seen so many — and she recalls the struggle the film portrayed with the family and the cost of care.

“She was trying to get food on the table, but she couldn’t work, because she had to take care of her mother,” Brown said.

Brown is thankful that the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter exists, because they provide services for both caregivers and patients at no cost. These services can help take the stress off of the caregiver.

“The biggest toll is on the caregiver, and it is huge. They are with that individual all the time,” Brown said. “They give up time with their own family to take care of their parent.”

Some families don’t know the service even exists, Brown said.

That’s a big reason for them to fundraise and have events in the area to spread the word of what is available. It also gives them a chance to spread hope.

“Rather than talk about the sad stories, I want there to be something fun for people to enjoy,” Brown said. “Don’t want to talk about what they are about to be facing, but I want to give them hope.”

Those participating in the Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s continue to raise money up until the walk on Sept. 15, and they will continue even after the event.

The participants are working to raise a total of $85,800 before the walk on Sept. 15. They have reached 39 percent of their fundraising goal with $33,542 raised with 185 participants and 48 teams.

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