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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 20th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 24

Community Corner: Alzheimer's Association

BY BRIAN WRIGHT

The Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser event set for Sept. 28 at Waller Park in Santa Maria will welcome runners and walkers of all ages with the inaugural 5K run and half-mile kids’ fun run. Registration for both events begins at 7:30 a.m.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s event will also feature the 3K and 5K walk familiar to past attendees. The 3K walk and the debut 5K run/walk will begin at 9 a.m. and the half-mile kids’ fun run—for ages 10 and younger—begins at 10 a.m.

Development Event Specialist Julie Wilson emphasized the value of education pertaining to the disease: “[The Alzheimer’s Association is] always working with people in the community to teach them about the different stages of Alzheimer’s and what to expect as caregivers and even as victims.

“We also provide referrals to resources—nurses, nursing homes, etc.—for those who are seeking out help for themselves and their loved ones,” she said.

The walk will also feature a post-race party and meal for participants. Entry is free, but donations are welcome. All proceeds go to resource and support groups for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the families who care for them.

“We want to provide plenty of options to people who have many questions and concerns about where to go and what to do to help their loved ones,” Wilson said. “We have counselors and many other resources available for those who need help.”

Alzheimer’s is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for people ages 65 or older. The change in the number of deaths between 2000 and 2010 has increased by 68 percent while other major diseases—such as heart disease and stroke—have seen decreases in their fatality rates.

There are more than 7,000 people in San Luis Obispo County and 9,000 in Santa Barbara County currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The association also needs teams—be they clubs, businesses, families, schools, etc.—to help fundraise and spark interest in the event. There will also be a walk at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo on Sept. 21. To donate, join or start a team, or find more information on the walk, registration, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the disease in general, visit alz.org/walk.

 

Intern Brian Wright compiled this week’s Community Corner. Send comments or ideas to the Sun via e-mail at intern@santamariasun.com.