What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 41 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 1 day ago
More in News
Alzheimer's walk raises $11,000 for victims
PARIS-NORWAY— The backs of their t-shirts read, "I walk for mom," or, " I walk for Sue," a few, even, "I walk for Grammie."
Mom, Sue, Grammie; the day was one of tributes for Alzheimer's victims, of painful memories and hopeful determination. No matter who donned purple Saturday morning and walked a few miles around Paris and Norway, they walked for someone.
United, they walked to end Alzheimer's.
The Western Maine Walk to End Alzheimer's, spearheaded by the Alzheimer's Association Oct. 5, was one of 11 recent events around the state, from Sanford to Fort Kent, to raise money to prevent and treat the disease.
The walk culminates a state-wide fundraiser effort, with proceeds benefiting Alzheimer research and patient care.
Gathering at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, participants from the region drew close together as they listened to opening remarks from Jessica James, Director of Communications and Advocacy for Maine's chapter.
James outlined the challenges the organization faces: 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, many of whom are uninsured. With rising health care costs, many of those affected are unable to afford medical care.
"We all have a reason to walk and a reason to be here today," James said.
James asked the room to hold aloft a flower each for those with Alzheimer's, for loved ones living with the disease, and those who had lost friends and family to it.
In purple, blue, yellow and orange, a hundred flowers were raised.
Outside, purple flags rose from the ground, emblazoned with the challenge, "Fight for an end to Alzheimer's!"
Almost everyone gathered had a personal connection to Alzheimer's. Deb Johnson and her husband Dana know the hardship of daily life with the disease. When Dana was in his 40's, he went to neurologist about his growing memory problems. For several years, doctors assured the couple Dan had memory issues, but not Alzheimer's.
One day, on an errand to pick up his son at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Dana instead found himself over Streaked Mountain and in Buckfield. It was then the couple realized something was very wrong.
Further tests revealed Johnson had been misdiagnosed for years and, as they feared, Dana had Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, because the disease was a pre-existing condition, Dana was denied medical insurance.
The disease, and the insurance company's response, was a burden they never could have anticipated.
"This is not how our life is suppose to be," Johnson said.
"We have participated in drug trials and research experiments, and we continue to jump at any possible help including cooking with coconut oil, eating seaweed snakes, and biking on our tandem bike. However, we both know our best hope for fighting Alzheimer's is working with the Alzheimer's Association to improve the funding that's necessary to fight the dramatically increasing amount of people living with Alzheimer's," Johnson said.
"We're glad you're here to share the journey with us," she thanked those assembled.
Diagnoses of the disease is growing as the baby boomer generation ages. It is the now the sixth-leading cause of death, according to a press release from the Alzheimer's Association.
Nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association has held a similar walk since 1989.
This is the first year the Alzheimer's Association has hosted the walk in the Oxford Hills region. In the past, the event was held in Farmington but had disappointing attendance. James, who grew up in nearby Bethel, was excited to contribute something back to Western Maine.
Participants walked from the school's entrance southbound down Fair Street into Norway, turned left onto Main Street and followed it through downtown Norway. The participants completed the loop backtracking Main Street and Paris Street to the high school. Altogether, the group covered a two mile trek.
James said she expected to see 50 people attend the event, and raise about $7,000.
Instead, nearly 125 people raised more than $11,100. When James announced the number, several volunteers clapped and jumped in delight.
Altogether, the group hopes to raise $500,000 in Maine.
MEMORY ROAD— Over 125 people gathered at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School for Oxford Hill's first annual Walk to End Alzheimer's on Saturday.