Lowcountry residents, supporters raise over $213K in Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday in North Charleston

Local News

Via Ryan Belk, Alzheimer’s Association

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Many Lowcountry residents gathered Saturday morning at Riverfront Park for a Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising awareness and over $213,000 in the fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The annual walk returned as an in-person event with an ongoing fundraising goal of $295,000 to support research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association is fundraising through December 1st.

“It’s just a really good day,” says Cheryl Woods-Flowers, Alzheimer’s Associate volunteer. Flowers says that her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 69 and died just three years ago after a 16-year battle with the disease.

“The worst thing is that my dad, like most Alzheimer’s people, they lose touch with who they are but they also don’t remember their families, my dad didn’t even know us the last five years of his life, he’s why I do what I do,” Flowers adds.

According to association officials, over 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is a leading cause of death in the nation. Moreover, over 11 million family members and friends are caregivers for those living with the disease and other types of dementia.

South Carolina has more than 95,000 Alzheimer’s patients and 199,000 caregivers.

“I do this because I want one day for there to be nobody dealing with this disease, no family should go through what my family should go through. It’s time we do everything we can to beat this disease; this is a labor of love for me,” Flowers says.

The walk also featured a Promise Garden ceremony with different colored flowers depending on a person’s connection with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, families who lost a loved one from Alzheimer’s are all designated a color.

“The one color we don’t have is white and that’s because it represents someone who actually beat the disease and that’s never happened; our goal today and with all of our work is that one day somebody has that white flower,” Flowers says.

Funds raised from the walk will help support local programs and services such as support groups, 24-hour helplines, training pieces, and research.

“Very excited to raise over $200K to support the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association,” says Ashton Houghton, Vice President of Development of the Alzheimer’s Association, South Carolina Chapter.

Participants could walk in person or donate their efforts virtually.

“We’re really proud to be able to offer this year the opportunity for everyone to join us safely here in Riverfront Park, but we’re also offering a “walk from home” option as well for people who want to join us from home this year.”

Funds towards the Alzheimer’s Association through sponsorships and individual contributions from those participating in fundraising. Those who are interested in participating or anyone needing support or resources can visit alz.org or call the 24-hour helpline at 1 (800) 272-3900.

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