A walk to raise funds for Alzheimer's Disease resumed today after a one year break. The event was cancelled last year due to the 2007 Wildfires. The 18th Annual Memory Walk included 2,500 people with a goal to raise $400,000. The funds will go towards Alzheimer's Disease research, care and support services. "People don't know a lot about it so we want to make sure people we raise the funds needed to deal with this difficult disease," said Eugenia Welch, co-chairwoman of the event.
Scientists currently have few clues as to what causes the disease. The National Institutes of Health states that treatment only serves to keep symptoms from getting worse. It's one reason why money for care and support is so important.
"Getting care consultation, letting my father meet people with similar symptoms, and meeting other people in the same situation has been so important," said Nicole Payne, whose father, in his 50's was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's. He recently moved from Texas and now lives with Nicole in San Diego. Taking care of her father in addition to her own children and a home-based business has been a struggle, but she has ample help to make it work.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5 million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's Disease. There are 90,000 living with the disease in San Diego County alone and the numbers are growing. It's estimated that 5% of men and women ages 65 to 74 have Alzheimer's Disease, and nearly half of those aged 85 and older may have the disease, according to the NIH.