MOUNT VERNON — The Alzheimer’s Association has held fundraising walks for over 20 years but a Mount Vernon event was held for the first time on Saturday. The 2012 “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” drew 150 to 175 participants to the Kokosing Gap Trail.
Participants could choose how long they walked and everyone walking either was an Alzheimer’s patient, a family member/caregiver to a patient, a medical/therapeutic caregiver, or a supporter.
Mayor Richard Mavis explained that Rick Shoemaker of Home Instead Senior Care came to him and suggested the Walk to End Alzheimer’s as a Mount Vernon event. The mayor said he was surprised and please with how well they were able to coordinate the inaugural event.
“This has been a great journey for Mount Vernon on this first-ever walk for Alzheimer’s,” Shoemaker said,
He explained that over 4.5 million people live with Alzheimer’s, including 38,000 in Northwest Ohio. He added that in Knox County alone there are over 4,100 caregivers caring for almost 1,400 patients.
Shoemaker introduced several caregivers but first noted that Tom and Debbie McLarnan had planned to be there but Tom had suffered from a fall.
Shoemaker introduced Ruth Weidemeyer who briefly described that 14 members of her family have died from Alzheimer’s and 11 more are still living with the disease.
She talked about parenting her parents. “Think about if your own kids have to do this,” she said.
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