Umbrellas, rain gear and purple shirts embellished the crowd of walkers at McKinney's first Walk to End Alzheimer's in McKinney on Saturday morning. Despite the continued precipitation, a crowd of participants of all ages gathered at the opening ceremony at 8 a.m., then finished the walk under a canopy of purple and white ballons. The walk began at Spoon's Garage in downtown McKinney, routed walkers to Finch Park, and then back to Spoon's Cafe for a free pancake breakfast.
The walk was organized to create awareness around the stigma that is often associated with the disease and to raise funds for reasearch, support and the care of those who are afflicted with the disease. To date, those who participated in the walk, or simply donated funds, have raised nearly $34,000.
Karen Klassen, owner of Spoon's Cafe, was one of the organizers of the event, partnering with the Alzheimer's Association. As a caregiver for her 81 year old mother who was diagnosed with the disease some 10 years ago, Klassen said there is a lot of fear and misunderstanding surrounding the disease.
“This walk is about letting people know that resources are available and that you don’t have to do this alone,” Klassen said.
Over 5.4 Americans live with the disease. Over 10 million will have it in the next few years. It’s the sixth leading cause of death. There is no cure.
Photos courtesy of Michael Murphy
Top Photo: Walk organizers Sherri Murphy (L) and Karen Klassen
Bottom photo: Kathy Moore and family at the walk
For more photos from this event check out the TSB Glam Cam on our home page.