VALDOSTA — More than 200 participants joined the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease recently at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse.
Participants raised more than $44,500 to support the care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association, organizers said.
“We are grateful to the Valdosta community for coming together to show their support of those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers,” said Linda Davidson, executive director, Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia chapter. “Because of the generosity from the community, we are one step closer to putting an end to this disease.”
South Georgia Medical Center was the top fundraising team, raising more than $10,000, organizers said. It was South Georgia Medical Center’s first year participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. WALB’s Emileigh Forrester was the emcee for the annual event.
“I watched my grandmother and her twin sister both suffer from this horrible disease,” said Chris Daugherty, walk team captain and support coordinator, rehabilitation services at South Georgia Medical Center. “Before that, their mother was placed in a nursing home with that same disease. No one wanted to talk about it, it was a dirty little secret. People would say that they were just crazy. I have decided to stand up and make a difference.
"It’s time that Alzheimer’s was brought out in the open and discussed like we do cancer and stroke awareness. I plan on doing everything in my power to help support finding a cure.”
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, organizers said. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
In Georgia, there are more than 150,000 people living with the disease and 533,000 caregivers.