HUDSON, NY (NEWS10) – The Columbia-Greene Community College campus was flooded with purple on Saturday morning as dozens of walkers came for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease, an event helping raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.
âNo matter where people walk, whether it’s here or at home, everyone’s vision is the same, and that is to create a world without Alzheimer’s and dementia-free,â said Beth Smith-Boivin, director Executive of the Northeastern New York Section of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Prior to the start of the walk, there was a Garden of Promises flower ceremony to show how each participant was affected by the disease that affects more than 6 million Americans and 410,000 New Yorkers.
âWhen you see all of these flowers going up in the air and representing all of these people, it really warms your heart,â Smith-Boivin said.
Colors include blue for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, purple representing those who have lost someone to the disease, yellow for caregivers, and orange for those who have come to support the cause. The organization hopes to one day have a white flower representing the survivors.
Some, like Stacy Etue, walked in memory of loved ones lost to illness: âI feel good that we are giving back and I want the families who are there to receive support. And then I would also like to see a day when they don’t need support, that we have survivors.
While others, like Mina Byrne, use their personal experience to volunteer their time for the organization.
âI lived with my mother for two years before I put her in a retirement home and it was a very big fight, emotionally, physically, it was very tiring. I just want to see all of this disease eradicated, âByrne explained.
Over $ 20,000 has been raised to date through this event alone, getting closer to the goal of $ 27,000 set for the end of the year.
âIt is very exciting to see us move closer to this goal, and we are grateful to the community for helping us to do so,â said the Section Executive Director, explaining that of all the events in the region, the Columbia-Greene walk is one of the closest to achieving its goal.
This funding will be used to promote care, support and research to fight the disease, as walkers were encouraged after taking their steps towards a world without Alzheimer’s.
âEveryone’s story is similar but very different. It’s a great thing to see people, and we hope to see more and more each year, âsaid Byrne.
Saturday marked the last day of walking events for the chapter, with another walk also at SUNY Adirondack on Saturday. In total, more than 600 walks are held throughout the year across the United States.