The human ability to remember is a gift that is, more often than not, taken for granted by the younger generations. It is easy to laugh when someone forgets their car keys or that a test is coming up. However, forgetting where you live, how to take care of yourself or even your own name, is much more severe.
Alzheimer's disease, or ALZ, is a form of dementia that is characterized by a slow, progressive loss of memory, cognitive functions and communication skills. While Alzheimer’s has no cure, the search for a cure has been the primary effort for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Alzheimer’s can often feel like a terrible disease over which we have no control,” Megan Haist, development manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, said in an email. “Without a cure, we’ll be facing a public health crisis of monumental proportions within twenty years. However, it’s important to remember though, that progress is being made and we are not alone in this fight.”
Haist has been working with the Alzheimer's Association board since May and has been involved with numerous nonprofits for over a decade.
The ALZ Walk for the Cure takes place every year all across the country, with Ohio’s primary walk being located in Columbus. Currently, there are 5.8 million people in the United States who are living with Alzheimer’s, with 220,000 of those people living in Ohio.
“It’s an extremely important foundation,” Lauren Harris, a freshman studying nursing, said. “I feel like Alzheimer’s needs more recognition in research, like cancer. And students should definitely be more involved.”
Each year, the Alzheimer’s Foundation sets out to raise money for research toward a cure and treatment plans for people living with Alzheimer's disease. Families and donors form teams to participate in the walk, oftentimes in memory of a loved one or friend who passed away from the disease.
“I think it is a really good cause,” Christa Argirakis, a sophomore studying art history, said. “It is also super important and I can’t think of why Athens shouldn’t have it.”
For this Saturday, if you are interested in participating in the walk or in donating, sign up for a team or to donate at https://act.alz.org/site/.