Over five million Americans are living with Alzheimerâ??s Disease, and 69,000 of those patients are from the state of Iowa.
â??Alzheimer's is the largest type of dementia that impacts people,â?? said Michelle Kelman,Director of Outreach for Alzheimerâ??s Association of Greater Iowa. â??Most normally over the age of 65 and older, but we also have people who are underage with early onset that can be in the 40s, their 50s, and early 60s with this disease.â??
Nearly 150 people came to walk at Indian Hills on Saturday, all hoping to put an end to Alzheimerâ??s Disease. Organizers anticipate the event raised over $18,000.
â??I had a grandma that passed away," Madison Konrad said, "and I kind of want to support her, so we put together a team. The first year we raised about $1,000, and that was pretty good for a bunch of 12-year-olds.â??
â??This walk is all about helping people who battle Alzheimerâ??s and dementia, their families and their friends and to make a difference for a world without Alzheimerâ??s in the future,â?? Kelman said.
The disease sits very close to the heart of State Rep. Mary Gaskill who lost her husband Jim last August.
â??He had dementia; he didnâ??t have full blown Alzheimerâ??s but he had dementia, which leads into Alzheimerâ??s,â?? Gaskill said. â??We struggled with that for quite a number of years, so I want to come out and honor him and help others.â??
According to research from the Alzheimerâ??s Association, the disease is the only cause of death among the top ten in America without any known treatment, cure, or prevention methods.
â??I have been impacted by working with people,â?? Kelman said. â??Friends and family members who have been impacted in different ways with this disease, and thereâ??s many people that are represented here today that have lost loved ones or are currently battling this disease.â??