MARQUETTE — The Upper Peninsula Region of the Alzheimer’s Association is preparing for its annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s set to take place Saturday.
The walk aims to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s to help find a cure of the disease.
This year, the walk hopes to raise $57,000.
“We want people to know the impact their dollars are having,” U.P. Alzheimer’s Association regional director Ruth Almen said. “We also want to recognize those currently most affected by this disease–those who have Alzheimer’s, those who are family members, caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s, those who have lost people to Alzheimer’s, and so it’s really part of our whole inviting the community to come out and say they support people, but to recommitting together as a group understanding the horrible impact of this disease and how together we’re going to move forward.”
About 110 people are registered online so far, but even more members of the community participate in the walk to show their support.
“Last year, we had one of our participants from the LiveWise program and she came to the walk and she said to me, ‘I thought there would only be like 30 people here’, and in the meantime there were 200 people in the gym, it was loud, it was fun, there was a lot of people being supportive, and she said ‘I had no idea that this many people cared about me’.”
“We really want people to understand that we do care about people with Alzheimer’s. We know it can be a horribly isolating disease, that it can be embarrassing sometimes as people’s experiences of having it, or their family members don’t know how to care for them, so we want people to know that there’s help available, that people are there to care and that’s really incredibly important.”
Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m. at the YMCA of Marquette County Saturday with coffee and donuts. There will booths set up with T-shirts for sale and areas to drop off money raised and to make donations. The opening ceremony starts at 10 a.m. and the walk begins 15 minutes later. There are two loops for walkers to participate in, one that goes to the Lower Harbor and one that loops around the back of the YMCA.
Houghton is also having a Walk to End Alzheimer’s October 4.