BUCYRUS ― Teams from Crawford County will join forces with teams from Richland and Ashland counties to participate in the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s-North Central Ohio on Sept. 15.
Bucyrus physician Dr. Rebecca Strickland is a chairperson for the event and has been a keynote speaker for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“As a geriatrician, I see the devastating effects that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have on people and their families,” Strickland said.
Approximately 5.7 million Americans currently are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The purpose for the walk, as well as other fundraisers the teams that are participating are doing, is to generate money for research to find a better way to treat and cure Alzheimer’s,” Strickland said.
She said currently there are only four medications available to treat the devastating disease that robs people of their memory.
Working in the senior living and healthcare industry for more than 15 years, Crystle Taylor-Stephenson also has witnessed first-hand the effects of the disease has on people’s lives.
“As an executive director of a senior living community, Mansfield Place, I have a passion to support all affected by Alzheimer’s. Our team of caregivers strives to provide emotional support and personalized care for the families and innocent victims of this disease,” Taylor-Stephenson said. “It is also imperative to me to provide ongoing education to my team about the disease, its effects, stages and proper communication techniques in order to provide the best care for their residents.”
Taylor-Stephenson serves on the Walk Planning Committee for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“To watch an individual go through the stages of this horrible disease is heart-wrenching,” Taylor-Stephenson said. “Working with families who are watching their loved ones slowly die from this disease is very emotional. Support for anyone affected by this disease is critical. They need to understand this disease and what comes with its stages.”
She is involved with the Alzheimer’s Association because of its support and educational programs.
“This is in addition to the fact that 77 percent of all their funds go directly to care, support and research awareness. Great strides are being made from their research to find treatments to stop, slow and prevent the disease,” Taylor-Stephenson said. “My hope is that our generation will witness the first survivor of this horrific disease. There are so many ways to get involved. It really takes a village to make a difference. Even if each of us does something little; every contribution, monetary or time, will go a long way.”
Strickland said there are different ways to raise funds.
“People can form teams and hold fundraisers throughout the year then get pledges or donations for the walk,” Strickland said.
The goal for this year’s walk is $63,000 with $31,615.64 already raised.
Registration for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s-North Central Ohio is Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Health Sciences Building at the OSU-Mansfield/North Central State Campus, 2421 Kenwood Circle
Currently, there are 80 people participating in the walk with a total of 29 teams.
For more information about the walk, contact Cindy Jakubick at 419-522-5050 or email her at [email protected] To sign up for the walk, visit the the walk’s website.