To the editor:
On Oct. 1, Sen. Daryl Beall and Sheila Hefly helped lead off the Walk to End Alzheimer's. The day was filled with loving and beautiful tributes to those who have died from the disease, those who are currently battling the disease, those who are caring for those affected by the disease and those who support the mission. At times there were tears in the crowd, but there was also hope. Hope in knowing by joining together we can make a difference.
The community went above and beyond, the walk raised nearly $22,000 which will go to fund, services, support, research, education and training, and our 24-hour support line (800) 272-3900.
The mission does not end now. We will be collecting funds towards the walk until Dec. 31. Those wishing to send in donations or need support and services can contact: The Alzheimer's Association of Greater Iowa 1605 First Ave. N., Suite 4, Fort Dodge, IA 50501 - 576-4884. www.alz.org/greateriowa.
Alzheimer's is a progressive degenerative brain disease that more people die from each year than diabetes, breast and colon cancer combined. It is the sixth cause of death in the United States. It is also the only cause of death in the top 10 without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. In Iowa there are nearly 70,000 people living with Alzheimer's disease today. And, every 69 seconds someone else is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This is why events such as the Walk to End Alzheimer's are so critically important. The time to act is now.
There are many more people to thank for the success of the day. A small portion of that long list includes: those who came out to walk and raised funds, the sponsors, the FDSH cheerleaders who cheered on the crowd (and warmed our hearts), the news media for helping to get our message out, Iowa Central Community College for allowing the walk to be held at their facilities, the high school and college students and staff who came out and volunteered, the group from Kohl's who helped with the flower garden and of course the people of Fort Dodge who joined together, embraced the mission and walked for a cure.
A very big thank you to all of you.
Amy Von Bank
Alzheimer's Association Greater Iowa