The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is being hosted in Sedalia next weekend, and they’re asking for your help to find the cure. Click here to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson speak with the Alzheimer’s Association Special Events Coordinator, Megan Schwedtmann.

Megan Schwedtmann

This annual walk is for more than just research, it helps support affected people from all over Missouri. “The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Sedalia is held every year, it’s our annual walk. It is a community event that raises awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.” said Schwedtmann, “The Alzheimer’s Association gives care, support, and research efforts. We work with those affected within Sedalia and within 58 counties through out Missouri.”

They are hoping to have even more citizens out to help raise money for the cause this year. “We have been growing in Sedalia every year.” Schwadtmann said “Last year we had over 400 people come out and walk with us and they raised over $30,000 for the walk. Those dollars that are raised are primarily done through community members that form a team. They fundraise, do some fun stuff, and kind of get everybody around them involved and they’ve been very successful. We’ve also had the help of some of the area businesses as well.”

There are a few ways to register for the upcoming walk. “We are happy to have you show up the morning of and register with us that day. Or you can beat a little bit of the line and pre-register online. Then you can also come to our bank night that we’re having September 4th and information for that is also on the site. There you can pre-register for everything and pretty much skip all the lines,” said Schwadtmann.

There are a lot of supporters for this walk, but there are also people that have been directly effected. Click here to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson speak with Linda Fisher, Advocate and Committee Member.

Linda Fisher

The walk is personal for Mrs. Fisher. “My husband Jim developed an Alzheimer’s type of dementia at age 49. Because of that we became interested in what was then called the memory walk. We went on the first walk in 1998 and at that walk there were six of us, six adults and a dog and we walked around downtown Sedalia. The next year I coordinated the walk. Since then, it’s kind of built into a real community event. We’ve had different coordinators over the years, I did it for five years, Then other people have taken it over, but I’ve always been involved.”

This disease is not only completely devastating but, at this time, completely untreatable as well. “Alzheimer’s Disease just totally changes a person.” said Fisher “When a person gets dementia of an Alzheimer’s type, their first symptom is usually short term memory loss. Then as the disease progresses, it becomes a much bigger part of their life than that, because it affects their ability to do things that they have always been able to do. My husband was very mechanical and it got to the point where he was taking things apart, but he could no longer put them back together. It really destroys a person over a long period of time. It’s a slow disease, but it keeps progressing and just gets worse and worse. There are about five million  Americans with Alzheimer’s, there are about 110,000 people in Missouri with it. It is among the top 10 killing diseases in the United States. It is currently the sixth leading cause of death. Yet out of the top 10 diseases, it is the only one without any kind of cure or effective treatment.”

Mrs. Fisher is just hoping that people will come out to help raise awareness and support the fight to find a cure. “This is my mission.” Said Fisher, “Jim died in 2005 and I have recently re-married, but I am still totally involved. I want to see the walk be a big success again. I have high hopes for this year, and I believe that we’re going to have an outstanding walk. Our goal is to raise $34,000.”

 

Press Release:

 

Sedalia to host Walk to End Alzheimer’s Sept 6

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Area residents are invited to take the first step to a world without Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Sept, 6, at the Missouri State Fairgrounds-Highway Gardens in Sedalia.

“I think everyone should know the facts about Alzheimer’s disease,” said Sheila Ream, committee chair. “Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. It is the 6thleading cause of death. It kills more than breast and prostate cancer combined. There is no way to prevent, cure or slow its progression. I know these facts are scary, but we can all help end this disease. That’s why I’m involved with the Sedalia Walk event, and it’s why I encourage everyone to register today!”

There are two ways to sign-up — online or at the event. Online registration is now open and event registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 6, followed by the opening ceremony/walk at 10 a.m. The planning committee hopes to raise $34,000 at this year’s event. Walkers can start a team or join a team, or just come Walk with their family and friends. There is no fee to register, but donations are appreciated.

Visit http://act.alz.org/WalkSedalia or call Megan at 573.443.8665 for more information.

Walk Sponsors (as of release date): Bothwell Regional Health Center, Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Crossroads Hospice, Fair View Nursing Home, KSIS 1050 AM, MoZark Press, Sedalia Democrat, Simmons Bank, Sylvia G. Thompson Residence Center, Third National Bank, W-K Automotive, The Arbors at Westport Estates.

Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association has mobilized millions of Americans to participate in

the Walk to End Alzheimer’s® — the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.