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1,700 attend Alzheimer’s walk

October 7, 2018

Annette Morlan, wearing a purple Alzheimer’s Association T-shirt, was standing outside Parkview Field on Saturday with her family, her mother and her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. 

The stadium’s stands were filled with purple for the association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

About 1,700 people participated in the walk. There are 12 walks throughout Indiana, said Lori Stock, a social worker for the Alzheimer’s Association of Fort Wayne. 

Some were there for their friends, others for their family. Some were even there for themselves. 

Tearing up at times, Morlan described how her mother has battled Alzheimer’s for 10 years. She said her grandmother also suffered from the disease. Morlan said she got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association in February. 

“It’s an everyday thing. I have to figure out what I’m going to do to help to adapt to take care of my mom,” Morlan said.  

Saturday’s crowd was heartening, Stock said, because Alzheimer’s diagnoses are becoming more common. Every 68 seconds, a person develops Alzheimer’s, Stock said. 

“What it tells us is that people are starting to become aware and they want to do something about it,” Stock said. “Because the truth is, everybody who has a brain is at risk.” 

It’s important, Morlan said, to know there’s a community of people who understand the struggle families go through when a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s.

“I was at a point in the caregiving process that I wanted to be around people that shared my experience and I wanted to be able to be with people that understand this is hard and you need to surround yourself with encouraging, supportive people,” Morlan said. 

That’s why Morlan says she will be coming back next year with an even bigger group.

“It’s overwhelming and amazing. I know that it will get bigger,” Morlan said. “I will bring more people and just to see that many people fighting for the same cause is amazing.”

dgong@jg.net

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