PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB-TV) – June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and News 13 is going purple in support of the 580,000 Floridians living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia – a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.
To this day, there are more than six million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. Some early signs of the disease include memory loss that disrupts daily life, confusion with time or place, new problems with speaking or writing, change in mood or personality and decreased or poor judgement. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease itself kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Care and support for people living with Alzheimer’s costs the nation over 300 billion dollars. Unfortunately, there is no cure to Alzheimer’s disease, but intense research is ongoing to try to find a cure and slow down the cognitive impacts the disease has on people.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers needing care and support and research about the disease. Over 600 communities nationwide host the event each year, including the Florida Panhandle!
The Central and North Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will host the Emerald Coast’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, FL on October 29, 2022. During this walk, members from the community will gather, dawning purple attire and holding a colored flower representative of their connection to Alzheimer’s disease. This year’s walk will be outdoors, in-person and held virtually, so you can walk from just about anywhere! If you’d like to register to walk, create your own team or make a donation, click HERE.
This year, our very own Meteorologist Kristen Kennedy will emcee the Promise Garden Ceremony at the Walk! For those of you who don’t know, Kristen has volunteered and fundraised for the Alzheimer’s Association for a couple years now in honor of past and present family members who have been diagnosed with the disease. She is looking forward to seeing everyone come together to reflect, support and champion one another at this year’s event while hopefully finding an end to a disease that has had a personal impact on her life.
If you or someone you is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, help is only a phone call away. The Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline can be reached by dialing 800-272-3900. You can also go to alz.org to access more information and resources in your area.