Not too late for walk

Published 9:18 pm Monday, September 9, 2019

Alzheimer’s truly is one of the worst diseases.

It steals memory and personality even before it begins wreaking havoc on the person physically. It steals everything the person loved to do and hoped to do. And it’s perhaps worst for the caregivers, who often watch their loved ones suffer for years.

Alzheimer’s disease is the only one of the United States’ top 10 causes of death that has no prevention, treatment or cure. It’s currently ranked No. 6 in the top causes of death, but some estimates indicate it may be third, just behind heart disease and cancer.

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The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person and don’t always involve memory loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. For many, decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. For others, the first symptoms may even include wandering, taking longer to complete normal tasks, personality and behavior changes or trouble managing their finances.

As the disease progresses, patients are eventually completely dependent on others, cannot communicate, and spend most of their time in bed as their body shuts down.

Few people have been immune to the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease. Whether they’ve experienced it with a close family member, an extended family member, or through the family of a friend or neighbor, almost everybody knows somebody who is affected by Alzheimer’s.

That’s why we believe the Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s is such an important cause.

The walk returns this year after being canceled last year due to Hurricane Florence — and, even better, it features a new location that will likely be very attractive to participants.

The new venue, YMCA Camp Arrowhead on Kenyon Road, features plenty of parking and a wooded campus on which to walk, a pleasant change from the previous Constant’s Wharf venue, which contends with limited parking and traffic issues surrounding it.

The walk happens this Saturday with check-in at 8:30 a.m., opening ceremony at 9:40 a.m. and then the walk beginning at 10 a.m.

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. It’s not too late to get involved.

If you would like to participate, contact Barbara Monteith at 793-5077 or for more information, or visit