"What the Walk Means to Me"

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There are the three words that cross my mind when I think about Alzheimer’s disease: 
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Devastating. Incurable. Thief.

My grandpa passed away from Alzheimer’s over two years ago, but in reality we lost most of him long before that. Anyone that has witnessed a loved one deteriorate right in front of their eyes knows how devastating this disease is. They know how stressful it is on the family, friends, and caregivers,​ and how at sometimes, you feel alone and unsure which direction to turn. 

This is why I love the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s - it is the one event that brings hope to this devastating disease. It is inspiring, uniting, and uplifting. 

When I became involved in the Fresno Walk, about 4 years ago, it had raised just over $100,000 and recruited several hundred walkers. During this time, the need for Alzheimer’s support, care and research tr​emendously increased within our community. As a result of this need, a Fresno Alzheimer’s Associa​tion office opened up just this Fall.  We have also renamed the Walk to the Fresno-Clovis Walk to End Alzheimer’s. A small detail that illustrates a tremendous need in our community.  

The 2015 Fresno-Clovis Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held on Saturday, September 12. Over 2,000 walkers endured our smoke and ashy weather to come out and raise money and awareness. It was just that personal to them. To date, walkers have raised over $303,000 and the money is still flowing in. This was another record-breaking year!  

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The funds raised from this event go back into our community and benefits those affected by Alzheimer’s. It supports families through programs that focus on education and support, benefits our advocacy and policy initiatives that give those facing Alzheimer’s a voice and, most importantly, it backs advancements in research studies that will one day lead us to a cure!​

What I love about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is how it brings the entire community together. We all come from different backgrounds but at the walk, we all have one thing in common: We want an end to Alzheimer’s.  

The Walk is an event for everyone. Surrounded by thousands of others that understand their pain and struggle, most first-time attendees, for the first time, feel like they are not alone.  
It’s a time to come together as one, and fight for an end to Alzheimer’s. The time to fight for a cure is now and it starts with you and me. 

How Can You Get Involved?​

The best way to get involved is by registering for your local Walk and raising money. Visit alz.org/walk to find the Walk nearest you. If registration isn't open yet for the 2016​ season, keep checking. Registration usually starts in January or February.

If you are in Fresno, start by clicking here​ to join our Facebook Group. Make friends, get to know our community and stay in the loop with everything relating to the Fresno-Clovis Walk to End Alzheimer's.

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Kirstin Howe served as the Fresno-Clovis Walk to End Alzheimer's Event Co-Chair from 2014-2015. As Team Captain o​f Team Handsome Howe, she was responsible for raising nearly $40,000 in 2015. When she isn't flexing her muscle as a fundraising superstar, she is knee-deep in project management for Howe Electric​.

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