YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in Ohio. On Saturday, over 1,000 people gathered for the Mahoning Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The walk for the Alzheimer’s Association is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide. It is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and fund Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
The event encourages participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease.
One local woman said the disease is often misunderstood.
“Everybody that I talk to has somebody in their life that is affected by this disease,” said Shelby Trumphour.
Trumphour’s father died of Alzheimer’s in 2014.
She’s been coming to the Mahoning Valley walk ever since, saying the best thing she can do now is raise awareness.
“It makes it visible to people because so many people didn’t realize how terrible it is,” she said.
Trumphour said the more awareness the better because Alzheimer’s is more than just someone losing their memory.
“It just destroys that person’s mind and it robs that person of a life with their family,” Trumphour said.
“Super confident that one day when a cure is found we’re going to have a stake in that,” said Tyler Adams, community development coordinator for our local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Adams said he wants everyone to know about the resources their local chapter provides for individuals and their families.
He said he understands that close family members are almost always greatly affected.
“It’s a lot of strain on that. It’s a 24/7 job. The Alzheimer’s Association is funding the need for that support and care but ultimately we’re there to find a cure,” Adams said.
Funds from Saturday’s event will go to the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, which provides families with research and services like a 24-hour helpline.
Their goal for the walk is to reach $140,000.