Participants embark on a two-mile walk to raise money for research into Alzheimer’s disease during the 2011 Washington/Beaufort County Alzheimer’s Walk and Education Fair. This year’s fair begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. (WDN File Photo/Julia Hurley)

Archived Story

Walk, fair target Alzheimer’s disease

Published 10:21pm Thursday, October 4, 2012

The local battle against Alzheimer’s disease continues Saturday with the Washington/Beaufort County Alzheimer’s Walk and Education Fair.
The events begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at noon at the Redmen’s Lodge at 503 E. Third St. in Washington. The two-mile walk in downtown Washington begins at 10:30 a.m. Registration for the walk is set from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The Education Fair includes physicians from East Carolina’s Brody School of Medicine, legal-aid representatives and health specialists. Free materials about Alzheimer’s disease and for caregivers of Alzheimer’s victims will be distributed.
Emily Albera, one of the event organizers and who’s mother suffered with Alzheimer’s for 18 years, said the fundraising goal for Saturday’s Alzheimer’s Walk is $20,000. Last year’s walk raised that amount, she said.
“There are actually two goals. One is to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s, which is the Alzheimer’s Walk. The second, of course, is to provide caregivers and others with the Education Fair. … Twenty-five years ago, there wasn’t much (information). There was the Duke caregivers group, but that wasn’t local. But now there are some many resources locally, and that includes Greenville. Plus we have research available now and East Carolina University, which is a different approach than Duke’s,” Albera said Thursday. “The purpose (of Saturday’s events) is to bring awareness.”
The ECU reference refers to the Harriet and John Wooten Laboratory, which participates in community awareness of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Albera said the local Alzheimer’s Walk tries to donate $5,000 each year to the Wooten Laboratory.
“We’ll increase that as we gain more money,” Albera said.
Albera said she’s pleased with the turnout at previous Alzheimer’s Walks and Education Fairs, including years past when the walk was known as the Memory Walk.
“The Alzheimer’s Walk and Education Fair was created to help us make the lives of those devastated by Alzheimer’s disease just a little better. Imagine what it would be like not to be able to remember a son or daughter, a mother or father,” reads part of an email from Albera. “That is what happens to victims of Alzheimer’s disease — and it is tragic. We lose them in so many ways before finally losing them to death.  There are over 150,000 people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in North Carolina alone.  There is no known cause, nor is there a cure at this time — and more than 100,000 individuals (nationally) lose their lives to this disease each year.”
For more information about the Alzheimer’s Walk and Education Fair, contact Donna Woolard at 927-4754.

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