The Medina Walk to End Alzheimer’s takes place on Saturday, September 21, 2019

Medina Crowd 719
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a celebration of a community of caring individuals with a connection to a difficult disease. The goal of the funds raised by the walks is to support the services provided by the Alzheimer’s Association all over the country and to fund research.

By Mary Malik

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the country’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease care, support and research. More than 600 communities nationwide take part in the event every year, and it’s easy to participate.

“Find a walk near you, register and start fundraising,” says Cheryl Kanetsky, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater East Ohio Chapter. “The first walks took place in 1989, and over the past 30 years the events have expanded to where everyone can find one locally.”

The goal of the funds raised by the walks is to support the services provided by the Alzheimer’s Association all over the country and to fund research.

“Our services help and support people living with this disease and their families,” says Cheryl. “Navigating through this journey is difficult for everyone involved. Our services are free of charge and include a 24/7 helpline (800-272-3900) that serves as the first point of contact for families. We offer help with everything from finding doctors and support groups to helping family members develop strategies to care for loved ones.”

The walks also fund Alzheimer’s research at the national level, where there has been progress in many areas and especially in disease diagnostics.

“There are more clinical trials now than ever before that are progressing to the finish line,” says Cheryl. “This is a direct result of the funds raised from the walks. There’s a lot of momentum now and we need to keep it going.”

Cheryl Kanetsky, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater East Ohio Chapter

Cheryl points out that the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a celebration of a community of caring individuals with a connection to a difficult disease. Each walk begins with the Promise Garden Ceremony, where each participant holds a different colored pinwheel representing their connection to Alzheimer’s as a caregiver, family member, medical professional or an individual with the disease.

“This is a beautiful way to begin the day,” says Cheryl. “And remember, you don’t even need to actually walk. It’s just a feel-good kind of day.”

Vendor tables are available at the walk to provide help and information on various topics associated with Alzheimer’s, along with food, music and fun.

“We encourage you to register as a team, whether it’s a group of friends, family members, or a group of co-workers,” says Cheryl. “A corporate team is a great way for companies to give back. It gets people involved in their community for a great cause. Teams even make company T-shirts.”

Teams find fun and creative ways to raise money for the walk, and once an individual raises $100 you’ll receive Walk to End Alzheimer’s T-shirts. Any team raising $500 can have their loved ones represented with “Why I Walk” signs.

Teams find fun and creative ways to raise money for the walk, and once an individual raises $100 you’ll receive Walk to End Alzheimer’s T-shirts. Any team raising $500 can have their loved ones represented with “Why I Walk” signs.

“These signs represent family members, or whomever you would like to be recognized, and are placed along the walk route,” says Cheryl. “It’s a beautiful way to personalize the event and honor someone in your life who is struggling with this disease.”

Teams can register right up to the day of the event. So, get a team together or take part as an individual. Together we can walk our way to ending Alzheimer’s.

The Medina Walk to End Alzheimer’s takes place on Saturday, September 21, at the Medina Community Recreation Center, 855 Weymouth Road, in Medina. Event day registration begins at 8:30 a.m., the Promise Garden Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and the walk at 9:45 a.m. For more information and to register your team, visit Alz.org/walk.