The devastating effect of Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia is sadly quite prevalent in today’s world. If you haven’t been affected directly yourself or in your family, chances are you know someone who has.
The 2019 Philadelphia Walk to End Alzheimer’s is this weekend
The damaging effects of the disease motivate incredible programs such as the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to strive to eliminate Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia from the world for good. They are able to make essential efforts towards this mission through a variety of events, including their signature Walk to End Alzheimer’s (Nov. 10, 9 am, Citizen’s Bank Park.)
“The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is our single largest unifying event that brings together people from all over the country across several different months to support the vision to create a world without Alzheimer’s and also all forms of Dementia,” says Delaware Valley Chapter Executive Director, Kristina Fransel.
There are over 600 events like the Walk this weekend that happen around the country. The City of Brotherly Love’s walk happens to be the largest in size expecting 10,000-11,000 people to participate in 2019.
“We have Walks across the country, and our Philadelphia walk happens to be the largest out of all that takes place in the United States. The impact that people make through coming together is really at the heart of driving everything that we do as an association, including being the global private leader for funding research in the world and also helping to provide care and support for the people who are affected every day by this disease. Whether that’s people with the disease themselves or their care providers. That’s the work we do in the local communities,” adds Fransel.
The event starts off with a Promise Garden Ceremony, where those suffering from and affected by the disease are able to band together through an emotionally eye-opening moment before the walk starts. There are a few spotlighted individuals who make an appearance at the ceremony, including an individual who is currently suffering from the disease, they tell their story at the Ceremony and the impact is quite moving.
After the 2 mile walk, there is also a section for sponsors to set up shop, including one Philadelphia sponsor, iHeart Radio, who recently had a member of their on-air team pass away from the disease. It’s stories like these that band the community together during the ceremony, walk and while talking with sponsors at the end.
“My guess would be that many folks know somebody either living with the disease or even someone who has participated in the walk since it is such a huge effort here locally,” says Fransel. “We all know somebody who’s participating in one way or another.”
For those who can’t make the walk on Sunday, there is still plenty of time to help. Interested members of the community can make donations through Dec. 31, 2019 at act.alz.org/philadelphia to help the foundation reach their goal of 1.6 Million dollars (as of this week they were just hit the 1 million mark.)
People can also learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association, programs, services and research through the Delaware Valley Chapter website: alz.org/delval, or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 to talk to a trained Helpline specialist about Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and learn about Association programs and services.