By Tina Henson / Belleville Walk Manager with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter
Alzheimer’s disease won’t stop, not even for a pandemic. Neither will the Alzheimer’s Association.
Each year, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s demonstrates the association’s commitment to awareness, research, and funds for Alzheimer’s care and support. It is the world’s largest event of its kind, carried out in more than 600 communities nationwide.
The walk usually takes place in bigger groups, but COVID-19 has caused a movement toward a different kind of Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Instead of shutting down, it’s branching out—across every sidewalk, track and trail throughout the country.
But while the path participants take may look different, the most time-honored walk components will be replicated. On walk day, an Opening Ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers that will honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. The association will deliver all these directly to participants’ computers.
To enhance the participant experience, both leading up to and during the event, new features will also be added to the Walk mobile app. Walkers can now use it to track their steps and distance, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources directly from the association and walk sponsors.
COVID-19 has caused many unforeseen challenges for people at all stages of Alzheimer’s and related dementia. But when adversity is at its highest, the Alzheimer’s Association and all who support it will rise to the occasion. Anyone who joins this year will help continue to provide care and support to families who so desperately need it, along with critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.
This year the Belleville Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Saturday, Oct. 3. To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s walk, visit their alz.org/walk online.