CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nearly 400 people are expected join forces in the fight to end Alzheimer’s during an annual walk in Charleston Saturday.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will return to Appalachian Power Park after taking a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.
“This is a big thing emotionally for people to come to our walk in person and we want those who feel comfortable coming to feel safe,” said Sharon Covert, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter.
Covert said in the last year, there’s been an uptick in Alzheimer’s deaths. She said some of that could be due to isolation during the pandemic.
“What we saw was about 400 more deaths in 2020 then what we were normally expecting. That is a big number,” she said.
There were also staffing challenges with workers risking their lives by going into homes during COVID before vaccines were available.
This year’s goal for the walk is to raise $97,500 for Alzheimer’s research, local care and support services.
The walk will also include a Promise Garden ceremony to honor those impacted by Alzheimer’s. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent each individual’s personal reason to end the disease.
A purple flower means a person lost someone to the disease, yellow is for caregivers, blue is for those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, orange is for supporters of the fight to end Alzheimer’s and a white flower is displayed to represent the first survivor.
“People come to this walk and they see people raising flowers as the same color as their’s and they know they’re not alone. It’s like the biggest support group that we do all year,” Covert said.
Masks will be available on-site.