In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness month, Columbus residents, families, and businesses unite every September to take a stand against the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide and raises funds for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support.
Staff members from 101 Mobility® Columbus were eager to fight for a cure. After signing up and creating a “team page” on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website, participants began fundraising and even made their own company t-shirts to get pumped up for the walk.
Melissa Groom, 101 Mobility® Columbus office administrator, described her involvement as nothing short of meaningful. “Some of us have had a personal experience with Alzheimer’s, and this gave us a reason to walk and show our support,” she explained.
Melissa’s Grandpa passed away just three years ago from Alzheimer’s. “Since he was a huge Ohio State fan, I made sure to carry a lucky buckeye in my pocket during the two-mile walk,” she said. Surrounded by heartfelt signs, families walking hand in hand, and personalized t-shirts decorated with special photos and messages, Melissa felt a huge sense of community. “Knowing that we were helping to make a difference and show our support made it a day the 101 Columbus team will always remember!”
The walk was set up much like a mini-conference with information tents and helpful staff knowledgeable with Alzheimer’s symptoms and effects. Melissa listened as several speakers, family members, and Alzheimer’s victims shared their personal stories in an attempt to unite against the terrible disease. Over 24,000 people in the Columbus area are affected by the disease, making the turnout one that Melissa will never forget (sunny95.com).
The office plans on not only returning next year but over the next several years. “We will definitely be participating every year,” says Melissa. “Just being in that atmosphere makes me want to get more involved—meeting people and hearing their stories on how this disease affected their lives makes me that much more fired up for next year’s fundraising.”
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s (alz.org). Although there is still no known cure, momentum builds each year for Alzheimer’s and related dementias research. Until then, I’ll borrow some words from author Emory Austin: “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” Get Alzheimer’s advice, help, and support online and connect with others in your current situation on forums like AlzConnected. Sharing resources and stories is a great way to learn about the disease and get fresh ideas for caregiving.
Help the Alzheimer’s Association move closer to a cure by donating or volunteering in your area. Click here to go to their main site.