The numbers are daunting. Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death in this country.
Statistics show that one in three seniors dies from Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and that it kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
This fall, Corbin and local residents will have the chance to do their part to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, which is slated to be in-person on Oct. 2 in downtown Corbin.
“We are so excited to bring back the Southeast Kentucky Walk to End Alzheimer’s to Corbin and surrounding counties,” said Molly Hogan, Southeast Kentucky Walk Manager. “We look forward to working with the community to raise the necessary funds to further our mission: a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. We invite everyone to join us by signing up a Walk Team whether it be with your friends, family or business.”
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
“I’m extremely excited that we will be having a Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Corbin,” said Paul Matney, walk chair. “I’d like to encourage anyone interested in helping us in the fight against Alzheimer’s to sign up for a team, to volunteer, to fundraise and I’d like to challenge everybody to be part of this endeavor.”
Matney said that his mother-in-law, Carol Croley, died from Lewy body dementia, which is similar to Alzheimer’s Disease. He, his wife, Tammy, and several of her relatives used to participate in the Alzheimer’s walk that was held each fall in Jellico. It was the closest Alzheimer’s walk to Corbin with the next closest walk being held in Berea.
After the 2018 event in Jellico, they decided that a walk needed to be held closer to home, and reached out to the Corbin Kiwanis Club for support in organizing a walk here, which resulted in the 2019 walk, which will raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association of Kentucky.
Matney said several club members have relatives, who have been affected by the disease, and agreed to participate in the event.
The 2019 event featured over 50 participants and raised almost $6,000.
“It rained on us. We got soaked,” Matney recalled. “We are hoping for better weather this year.”
Last year, there was another unofficial walk where a few people participated from their homes, but there was no public walk.
Besides being able to use copyrighted and trademarked Walk to End Alzheimer’s material, Matney said that the biggest difference between the official and unofficial walks that most people will see is that there was a registration fee for participants and teams in 2019.
For the official walk this year, there is no registration fee for participants or teams, but participants are encouraged to do fundraising, and those raising $100 or more will receive a free walk T-shirt, which has the sponsors listed on the back.
Organizers are hoping to raise $35,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association this year, and have nine sponsors, 25 teams, and 150 participants.
“I encourage everyone to come out and participate. It should be a good event. It is for a worthy cause,” Matney noted.
He added that this walk would be only one of two official Alzheimer’s walks in Kentucky this year east of I-75 with the other walking taking place in Ashland.
To register or donate for the walk visit https://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2021/KY-GreaterKentuckyandSouthernIndiana?pg=entry&fr_id=14490, and click on the link to register or donate.
For more information about the Southeast Kentucky Walk to End Alzheimer’s, log onto the group’s Facebook page.