ESCANABA - In the time it takes to read the first few paragraphs of this story, someone, somewhere, in America will develop Alzheimer's Disease. It is estimated that every 70 seconds a person develops the disease in the U.S.
Currently 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's and the number is expected to increase to 13.5 million by 2050. The cost associated with Alzheimer's has been set at $172 billion per year.
In an effort to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's Research, the Alzheimer's Association of the Greater Michigan Chapter of the Upper Peninsula is hosting its annual "A Walk to End Alzheimer's" on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Catherine Bonifas Civic Center.
Daily Press file photo
Area residents are pictured as they took part in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010. The walk was part of a national campaign to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research. This year’s Walk is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22.
Registration for the walk begins at 11 a.m. with the walk beginning at noon.
A lunch will be provided for all those participating in the walk according to Ruth Almen, Regional director of the Greater Michigan Chapter of the U.P. located in Marquette. The Alzheimer's Association "A Walk to End Alzheimer's is the nations largest event to raise awareness and funds for the disease.
"There are walks in more than 600 communities and several are planned for the U.P.," said Almen.
Since 1989, the annual walk has raised more than $250 million for the cause. The walk raised $3,400 in last years event in Escanaba. All the money raised stays in the U.P. Currently in the U.P. there are over 9,000 people living with Alzheimer's who are diagnosed with this disease.
While the disease generally affects the elderly, it doesn't discriminate on the basis of age, gender, or race. Alzheimer's has been found to effect people as young as 30 according to the Alzheimer's Association, the risk of developing Alzheimer's doubles every five years under the age of 65. The risk increases to more than 50 percent after age 85.
There are many ways an individual can participate in this years walk. People can form a team that includes family, friends, and neighbors. Anyone who wants to get together to have fun for a worthy cause is encouraged to participate.
Businesses can purchase a "Sign of Support" expressing their support for the Alzheimer's Association, which will line the walk on that day. The signs are available for $100 and bear the name of your company/business and its support in the fight against Alzheimer's.
Businesses, if they are interested, can also get their employees involved by hosting a casual day for the cause and other businesses will be selling paper Forget-Me-Not flowers for a donation and people can sign their name and area businesses will display them at their site.
Individuals interested in walking this day can pick up collection envelopes at Perspectives Adult Care Center or Escanaba Senior Center.
Individuals can go online at www.alz.org/gmc to register. Look for the banner that says Upper Peninsula and look for Team (Perspectives) to join the team. For more information, contact Randy Daigneault at 789-2886.