Emma Pardo, News Editor

On Sept. 28, St. Charles Community College hosted an event called the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Community members that participated reached out to their neighbors and friends for donations to help fund the research that is being conducted to find a cure.

Currently more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimers and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million individuals by the year 2050. Between the year 2000 and 2017 the increase in fatality from this disease has increased by 145 percent. Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimers are women. One in three seniors dies from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. This disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. In the U.S. someone develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds.

Registered friends, families and coworkers gathered at 8 a.m. to start raising awareness. With over two thousand participants, for a total of 246 teams walked three miles around the Cottleville campus wearing purple in stride.

To begin the event, teams that checked in took a group photo and participants ventured to each tent that was sponsored by a different group. There were food tents and others with small incentives as well as water and the symbolic flowers that represent the participants reasoning for walking.

With multiple flower options, each color represented a different meaning. The orange flower represents everyone that supports the cause and the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. The yellow flower represents someone that is currently supporting or caring for someone with the disease. The blue flower represents someone who has Alzheimers or a form of dementia. Lastly, the purple flower represents someone that has lost a loved one to the disease.

After words about the St. Charles fundraising were spoken it was brought to attention that the area had earned together a total of $383,458. This is over 77 percent of a $500,000 goal. Participants that were listening to the ceremony raised their flowers in remembrance of their attendance while this happened, and doves were released symbolizing the hope to find a cure through the fundraising and awareness. After the ceremony teams led were led through the balloon arch to start the three mile walk around the perimeter of St. Charles Community College campus. This three mile map was actually a two lap walk that ended where the walk began. 

If you or a loved one are suffering from this disease you can sign up to walk to raise awareness as this is a great cause for a growing disease. While some individuals may not have the time to walk to raise awareness any size donation could help millions of people who suffer everyday.  For more information visit act.alz.org for more details.