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Hundreds raising awareness, money for Alzheimer's

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Hundreds of people will march in the annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” walk on Sunday at Central Park in Mishawaka.

With each step, walkers are raising awareness about the disease and money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 110,000 people live with the disease in Indiana.

At this time, there is no cure.

Along the one and three mile routes, participants will learning more about the disease, public policy initiative, and local programs and services.

While the walk benefits people suffering from Alzheimer’s, it’s also helping another group of people.

“It’s more of a support of the families because it’s just devastating,” said Deidre Moore. “A lot of times they have no idea, think they’re alone. Once they come to a support group or they talk to somebody else that is going through the exact same thing, they realize that I’m not alone.

The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indiana hopes to raise $83,000 at this year’s walk. As of Sunday morning, $53,000 had been raised.

Erica DeVreese is a team captain at this year’s walk.

DeVreese lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s about four years ago. The diagnosis required everyone in her family to pitch in. They spent 10 years taking care of her grandmother.

DeVreese and her family began walking as a way to learn ways to help her grandmother, but since she passed, it’s taken on a whole new meaning.

“I don’t want to not know who my kids are when I’m grown,” said DeVreese. “When I’m in my 80s, I want to I guess have those memories and not forget them. It’s really sad to see, you know my grandmother would ask who her husband was and he was sitting right there and it’s so sad for me. I want there to be a cure. I don’t want other families to deal with that.”

People interested in walking can still sign up. Open registration begins at 1 p.m. There is no registration fee, but people are asked to make a donation. The opening ceremony starts at 2 p.m., and the walk takes place shortly after.


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