Around 200 individuals joined together in the fight against Alzheimer’s this weekend at Ardmore’s Central Park.
People from all different backgrounds, but with one common cause, walked two miles around the park and paid tribute during the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s to those affected by the disease.
“I thought it was a beautiful walk, I loved that we had it in Central Park,” said walk manager Lyndse Sager. “The energy was great, it was so nice to see all the people there to support the Alzheimer’s Association and walking in memory of their loved ones, or in honor of their loved ones.”
By the end of the day, participants raised $48,000 to go towards the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association — and the fundraising will continue through the rest of the year as individuals try to reach the event goal of $52,000.
“A lot of our funds go to patient programs and services. So we do presentations, we have a 1-800 number, we have a care counselor that can do care consultations for families,” Sager said. “We have the walk so that we can provide those services locally to people who are in need.”
As someone who has been personally affected by the disease, Sager said she knows the difference support for families and caregivers can make. Before the walk began, participants were distributed a flower representing their personal reason for participating during the Promise Garden Ceremony.
Purple flowers represented those honoring a loved one lost to the disease; yellow flowers represented those currently serving as caregivers; blue represented those living with dementia; and orange represented those who support the cause or mission of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Sager held a yellow flower while partaking in the walk. “My grandfather actually has Alzheimer’s,” Sager said. “I get emotional every walk that I go to because it’s just, my grandma and my family, and I, we live it every day. I see the volunteers that live it every day and it’s just emotional, it’s a very tiring disease.”
The garden ceremony is always one of Sager’s favorite moments of the walk because it puts a face to those who have been affected by the disease, she said. In Oklahoma alone, there are more than 65,000 individuals living with the disease and 224,000 individuals serving as unpaid caregivers.
“It’s very moving to me,” Sager said. “It puts everything into perspective when you see the different flower holders because the different flowers represent different stages in the disease or how you’re connected.”
Individuals can make a donation towards the $52,000 goal by visiting ardmorewalk.org or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Seeing a community come together for the common goal of putting an end to this terrible disease is so inspiring,” Sager said. “Ardmore has been so wonderful to embrace this cause and I know we can reach our goal together.”