MOUNT VERNON — The 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Mount Vernon is just one of over 600 walks nationwide and will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Memorial Park entrance to the Kokosing Gap Trail. It is the first Walk to End Alzheimer’s to be held in Mount Vernon.
Nick Vargas of the Alzheimer’s Association said the event is the only community managed walk in the local chapter and the Alzheimer’s Association is pleased with its progress.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is lending our support,” he said, “but they’re putting it on themselves.”
Rick Shoemaker of Home Instead Senior Care explained that he had received information about the walk in Mansfield and wondered why Mount Vernon didn’t have one. A number of individuals and organizations came together to coordinate the event in Richland County.
As the owner of a senior care facility, he stated, “We have a number of clients who are affected with Alzheimer’s and we see the way it slowly and surely robs people’s lives.”
Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the shelter house at Memorial Park and participants are encouraged to register in advance.
The walk starts at 10:30 a.m. on the Kokosing Gap Trail and participants can walk up to three miles. The local goal is to collect $40,000 to contribute to finding a cure.
The Mount Vernon Walk has already collected $16,000 in sponsorships. Every dollar raised, said Shoemaker, will go to Alzheimer research. There are 13 teams registered so far and by the day of the walk they hope to have over 100 walkers.
Alzheimer’s is the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. It is progressive and damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to loss of memory, thinking and other brain functions. It is a type of dementia and usually develops slowly and gradually gets worse as the brain cells die. It is fatal and there is currently no cure.
Currently there are five approved drugs that treat the symptoms but there is still no cure. Roughly 5.4 million Americans of all ages have the disease.
Anyone interested in forming a team or donating can call Home Instead at 740-393-2500 or Nick Vargas at 419-537-1999.
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