Walks help raise awareness, funds to fight Alzheimer’s

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PURCHASE, N.Y — While Kathy Kane hasn’t lost any blood relatives to Alzheimer’s disease, it has touched her life profoundly. The Buchanan resident has had an up-close look at the disease’s impact as the mothers of seven people she is close to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over the past 10 years.

“It’s a little crazy when we step back and look at it… and all women, too,” she said. She said it began when her best friend’s mother was diagnosed and died from Alzheimer’s, and the disease continued a path of devastation, striking the lives of others near and dear to her one after another.

Kane first heard about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s last year and wanted to get involved. Now she is co-captain of The Memory Keepers team that will participate in the Westchester Walk to End Alzheimer’s at White Plains High School on Sunday, Sept. 25.

“I thought, ‘We really should do this,'” Kane said. “Because it seems to me that it’s getting worse.”

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Kane’s experience reflects a disturbing broader trend. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 5.2 million 65 and older. It is projected that if no cure or means of prevention is found that by mid-century as many as 16 million Americans could have Alzheimer’s.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, raising more than $77 million nationwide in 2015 These programs include a free nationwide 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900. The Alzheimer’s Association is the also the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research. It has awarded more than $350 million to more than 2,300 projects.

More than 600 walks are held nationwide, including five in the Hudson Valley: The Westchester Walk in White Plains on Sept. 25, the Orange/Sullivan Walk in Montgomery on Oct. 8, the Rockland Walk in Pomona on Oct. 9, the Dutchess/Orange Walk on the Walkway Over the Hudson from Highland to Poughkeepsie on Oct. 15 and the Putnam Walk in Carmel on Oct. 16. To learn more, visit HudsonValleyWalks.org.

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“Unless we can turn the table on this, I see it becoming an epidemic. We need to step up and fight it on the front lines,” Kane said.- USNewswire

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