Over a thousand walked Saturday to help end Alzheimer's

Credit: Erica Deshner/ KTVB

Over a thousand walked Saturday to help end Alzheimer's

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by KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 6 at 3:34 PM

BOISE -- Saturday was a beautiful day to take a walk, and help a great cause in the process.

That's what Saturday's Treasure Valley Walk to End Alzheimer's was all about.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Julius Kleiner Park in Meridian, for a walk, but it wasn't just any stroll.

MacKenzie Rodgers, the Executive Director of the Idaho Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, says doctors are getting better at diagnosing the disease, but that's also shined a light on how big the problem is.

"Over 26,000 people in Idaho have this disease, and 1 in 8 over the age of 65 get it, and it jumps to 1 in 3 over the age of 85. So, it affects a ton of Idahoans," said Rodgers.

The walk, which doubled its attendance from last year, raises money for research, care and support, but it also raises awareness.

"People with Alzheimer's disappear into institutions, and they disappear out of sight. And, I want to remind people to care," said Annette Guidry, who particpated in Saturday's walk.

Guidry walked for her mother, who she took care of for years, as she battled Alzheimer's, and then passed away. "It's a sad disease, and it chips away at someone."

One of the highlights of the event was the promise garden, full of flowers showing all the different reasons people walked.

"The blue flowers are people with Alzheimer's disease, and you'll see some blue flowers out here today. I think it's amazing that they're speaking out about the cause," said Rodgers.

"I looked around and saw how many people were caretakers, how many people had lost someone that they loved, with Alzheimer's, and I see that we all have a lot in common, and that we're not, we're not alone," said Guidry.

Rodgers says there are a lot of new medical trials happening, and a lot of great treatments on the horizon.

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