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Walk to End Alzheimer's is back and they're fighting to find the first survivor

MISHAWAKA, Ind.- Michiana families unite to help raise funds for care, research and support for a disease that’s a top ten cause of death.

The Alzheimer's Association brings the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s and a fight to find the first survivor.

Across the entire country, about 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and according to the Alzheimer’s Association by 2050 that number will be 16 million.

Right now, Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the u-s. Katie Pickard, a volunteer whose father was diagnosed shares what the hardest part about the disease is.

“I know eventually at some point he’s not even going to remember who I am and that’s really hard to process and it’s hard to teach my children they don’t understand why he’s angry why he doesn’t want to play,” she says.

Pickard’s father was diagnosed in 2015. She says once that happens there’s nothing one can really do and the best way to describe what happens is that the person affected slowly gets stolen from you.

Pickard says most people assume it’s just a memory loss issue, but it’s actually more complex than that especially since there are no survivors at this point.

Since awareness is key, Pickard decided to join the Alzheimer's Association to feel included. Now, she says she has a community she can rely on, while also helping those who are going through the same thing as her.

“The person that I have known my whole life as my dad is no longer that person,” she says. “There are no survivors imagine that. I don’t want people to feel hopeless I want people to come together. We need more funding for research and development.”

Every 66 seconds someone in this country develops the disease. That’s more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Right now, the Alzheimer's Association is about 20 per cent away from their fundraising goal and you can help by joining the walk today starting at 1 p.m. at Central Park in Mishawaka.

Here’s more information on how to become involved.

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