Walk to End Alzheimer’s brings awareness to the disease

Members of the Manhattan commuity gather at the Walk to End Alzheimer's on Sept. 14, 2019. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group )

Manhattan’s second Walk to End Alzheimer’s took place in City Park on Saturday morning.

The event raises funds to further care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We have 700 walkers here and we’re near our goal of reaching $80,000, and I walk in memory and in honor of my mother,” Sheri Storer, member of the walk’s planning team, said.

Members of the Manhattan community gather at the Walk to End Alzheimer's on Sept. 14, 2019. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group )

According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is an “irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.” As many as 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s.

Most participants at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s have a connection to the disease in some way. It could be that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia, have lost someone to the disease, currently support or care for someone with Alzheimer’s or simply support the cause and envision a world without Alzheimer’s.

Participants carried flower-shaped pinwheels on their walk. Different colors represented what, or who, people walked for.

Aimee Leicht said she walked in honor of her husband’s grandmother. She said the event means a lot to her and her family.

“[I walk to] bring awareness and hopes in finding a cure someday because this is a horrible disease and just support not only those who have Alzheimer’s but also the caretakers as well,” Leicht said.

The Alzheimer’s Association is a part of Sigma Kappa’s chapter philanthropy at Kansas State. The sorority was present at the walk.

Members of Sigma Kappa sorority gather together at the Walk to End Alzheimer's at City Park to support the cause on Sept. 14, 2019. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group )

Sigma Kappa hosts other events to benefit the Alzheimer’s Disease and Research Grant Program, including their Ultra Violet Mudbowl in the fall and Sigma Kappatizers in the spring.

The next local Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Sept. 28, 2019 in Topeka. Walk to End Alzheimer’s is still taking donations online.