Walking to help families fight Alzheimer’s

Published 11:02 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

Each year, more than 600 communities nationwide participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, according to act.alz.org.

Everyone has their own reason for getting started, but for each participant, the ultimate goal is the same. They want to lessen the pain and anguish felt by Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

Doug Burt, a real estate agent for Rose and Womble and the sponsorship chair for the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Suffolk, is one of the many committed to this fight.

This is Burt’s first year as the Suffolk Walk’s sponsorship chair and his first time participating in the event itself, although he’s volunteered for most of his life, he said. He learned more about the horrible realities of Alzheimer’s at a Suffolk Walk committee meeting that was held at the Edward Jones branch on North Main Street.

The brutal details of living with Alzheimer’s were highlighted at that committee meeting, Burt said. He learned how some people who have set up these saving plans and investments for retirement lose it all due to the immense cost of Alzheimer’s treatments.

“They amount all this wealth to retire, and then they get this disease and in a couple of years they’re financially destroyed,” Burt said.

Then there are these elderly patients’ children, men and women who have to watch their parents lose all cognizance of who they are.

“I could not imagine being a child looking at a parent and having that parent not recognize me,” Burt said. “That’s just the most heart-wrenching thing there is.”

That’s why Burt is asking for more sponsors to assist in the upcoming Suffolk Walk and help fight Alzheimer’s. For the families that suffered Alzheimer’s, those that are still fighting this disease and those that may face it in the years to come.

“Let God lead you to the amount of generosity He thinks you should provide,” Burt said.

The Suffolk walk will take place on Sept. 14 at YMCA Camp Arrowhead, 275 Kenyon Road. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 9:40 a.m.

The walk will begin at 10 a.m. This walk will include a three-mile route, and there will be a one-mile option as well.

There is no registration fee for the walk, although every walker is encouraged to make a personal donation and commit to raising funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Additionally, every registered participant will receive a T-shirt after achieving the fundraising minimum of $100.

As of Thursday evening, $35,697 has been raised towards the Suffolk Walk’s $88,000 fundraising goal this year, and 162 participants have registered for the Suffolk Walk.

Contact Barbara Monteith at 793-5077 or bgmonteith@alz.org for more information, or visit alz.org/walk.