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Walk to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s

Published: Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

During the months of September and October, tens of thousands of Americans, including me, will be participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s events around the country – including more than 15,000 individuals in Illinois.

This disease touches my family deeply. I have three grandparents who have been diagnosed and are living with this disease.

It is heartbreaking to visit with each one of them and know that they can’t recall the memories that I hold so dear to my heart any longer. I truly believe that our memories matter, and we have to stand together to find a cure for this disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America, with costs set to skyrocket in the years ahead. In 2014, the total cost of Alzheimer’s will be $214 billion. Sadly, only 0.25 percent of this total has been committed to Alzheimer’s research, the only path to reducing this cost.

I am walking to raise awareness of the urgency of this national problem. We are fortunate to live in an area that has the support of leaders in Washington such as U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who has been a co-sponsor of the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. I hope to continue to work with him and his office to eradicate this terrible disease.

If you would like to join us to end Alzheimer’s by participating in one of the walks, please go to alz.org to register as a team or individual participant.

The local Alzheimer’s walk is Sept. 27 in Dixon at Lowell Park. Registration starts at 8 a.m., the ceremony at 9 a.m., and the walk at 9:30 a.m. Contact Kari Gabbert at kgabbert@alz.org for more information.

Note to readers: Emily Dockery is an Alzheimer’s ambassador.

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