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Witt Hosts Annual Alzheimer’s Walk

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Alumni Way was decorated with bright smiles on Saturday, Sept. 29 as friends and families shared their stories and joined together to walk for their loved ones who were affected by the Alzheimer’s disease.

Music by Aretha Franklin blared over the stage in front of the student center as people danced; lined up at information tables and took a yellow, purple, orange or blue flower.

Each flower symbolizes how Alzheimer’s has affected families. The yellow flower is given to those who take care of someone with Alzheimer’s. The purple flowers represent those who have lost someone to the disease. Those who support the cause carry an orange flower. Blue is for those who are currently suffering.

The Alzheimer’s Association is invested in supporting the care of those with Alzheimer’s as well as the caretaker’s themselves. The association sponsors this walk each year in hopes of providing enough awareness, funds and research to put an end to the disease.

If the event chair of the association Annette Turner had taken a flower, she would have chosen a purple one.

“I walk in honor of my father who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008,” Turner said from the stage.

Turner described the inspiration her father’s passing gave her as a fire. One that, “made me want to give the best care and quality of life possible to those living with this disease.”

Her way of doing so comes through her job as a nursing home administrator at Oakwood village where she works with residents.

While Turner walks for her father, a woman shared that she walks for more than one loved one.

In 2006, her husband’s mother passed away from Alzheimer’s and his sister, 71, is now fighting the disease.

She also shared that in 2012, her husband passed from Alzheimer’s at 74.

“I kept my husband home as long as I could,” the woman said between tears.

She was married to him for 52 years.

One of the events hosts, K99.1 FM’s Nancy Wilson, shared that she doesn’t have a direct connection to Alzheimer’s, but is in support of the mission.

“My sister is the director of nursing for pathways at the Masonic home”, Wilson said, “She works with folks every day and has shared stories with me about these wonderful folks’ and the resilience.”

Wilson also thanked Edward Jones, the national presenting sponsor for the Alzheimer’s Association, for raising $2.4 million in corporate donations. Other organizations and volunteers, were recognized for their support and work in raising thousands of dollars for the cause.

Wilson’s enthusiasm for the donations infected the crowd.

“Let’s wake up all those kids who went out partying too late at Wittenberg!” she shouted.

The crowd raised their voices and their flowers, some of which had the names of their loved ones written on them.

Like Wilson, a woman by the name of Sandy and her husband carried their orange flowers in support of their neighbor’s mother who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Halfway through the walk however, they left to sort out donation issues they had online.

“that’s more important than finishing the walk,” Sandy’s husband said.

But for those who made it to the finish line, it was a dance worthy accomplishment.

People shook tiny bells when the participants crossed the threshold and a man carrying a blue flower was especially excited. He was wearing a crown on his head that said, “Happy Birthday.”

The man’s family laughed as they tried to stop him from walking away after his enthusiasm got the best of him.

But for those who made it to the finish line, it was a dance worthy accomplishment.

People shook tiny bells when the participants crossed the threshold and a man carrying a blue flower was especially excited.

Blue is for those who are currently suffering.

The man’s family laughed as they tried to stop him from walking away after his enthusiasm got the best of him.

He was wearing a crown on his head that said, “Happy Birthday.”

 

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