ELMIRA — On Oct. 13, more than 100 people from the Southern Tier region will gather at Eldridge Park in Elmira for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The event will bring together individuals who live with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, their care partners and friends, and families that lost their loved ones to Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Participants will spotlight the disease that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed.
Rose Carnegie of Pine City will participate in memory of her husband Bill. Carnegie cared for Bill at home for 13 years. He died of Alzheimer’s in 2010. “I have been part of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s since Bill was diagnosed in 1997. I believe I have raised well over $250,000 in this time period,” Carnegie said. This year, she and her friends organized several fundraising trips to casinos and have already exceeded their original goal of $8,000.
Gail Valentino of Dansville will walk in honor of her mother Jackie who died of Alzheimer’s in 2017. This is Valentino’s fourth Walk to End Alzheimer's. She hopes the funds raised at Walk will fuel critical research to find a cure. “My worst fear is that my family will have to care for me and endure the pain I endured while, helplessly, watching my mother's brain slowly die,” Valentino said.
Rebecca Fuller of Elmira, a registered nurse at Robert Packer Hospital who is currently working on her master’s in nursing, will walk with her family and her grandparents Jeannette and Bob Pettibone. Bob Pettibone lives with Alzheimer’s. The Pettibones regularly attend social engagement programs offered by the Rochester and Finger Lakes chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in the Southern Tier.
“My grandparents go to each event religiously. My grandmother made new friends and now has support outside of the family. The resources that are available for my grandparents at the Alzheimer’s Association mean the world to us,” Fuller said. She and her family have already raised more than $3,000 to help fund programs and services for individuals who live with dementia and their care partners.
Gerald Barnes of Elmira, who lives with Alzheimer’s, will deliver short remarks at the opening ceremony. He will share with participants his gratitude for support from friends he has received since the diagnosis and his wish for more research to understand, treat and cure dementia.
Walk participants will honor those affected by Alzheimer's and other dementias with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony emceed by Isabel Garcia, reporter at WENY News.
Participants will complete a 1- or a 3-mile walk and will learn about Alzheimer's disease, advocacy opportunities, clinical studies enrollment and support programs and services from the Alzheimer’s Association. Event registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony at 9:45 a.m. and the Walk at 10 a.m.
More than 400,000 individuals live with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and more than 1 million caregivers provide unpaid care to their loved ones in New York State.
The Southern Tier Walk is sponsored Wegmans (presenting sponsor), Edward Jones (national sponsor), Centers Health Care (New York statewide sponsor), WENY (media sponsor), and Angels in Your Home, Arnot Health, Bartholomew Healthcare Group, Cognivue, Elderwood, Friendly Senior Living, Jewish Senior Life, Heathwood Assisted Living, Memory Center at Unity, The Village at Unity, St. Ann’s Community, St. John’s Living and UR Medicine Highland Hospital.
Walk participants can join a team or register to walk at alz.org/walk.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®. Now, the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The Association’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer's Association Rochester & Finger Lakes Region serves a nine-county region, including Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties. Visit alz.org/rochesterny or call 24/7 Helpline 1-800-272-3900.