For the first time I participated in the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Snohomish County. I went to support a friend and her family who are dealing with the devastating disease. It was a well-attended event with this local chapter raising close to $40,000 for research. What I didn’t know was that my friend was one of the keynote speakers at the event. Paula Townsell and her family are the real faces of Alzheimer’s.
As she spoke about her travels caring for her mother-in-law through the downhill spiral of this disease, we all became painfully aware how this touches and changes a family forever. Here is what I learned about this epidemic: currently there are over 5 million Americans who have this disease. By 2050 this number could triple. There are over 15 million caregivers who deal with this insidious disease every day. Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease. Paula’s speech was her personal diary on the impacts of Alzheimer’s, but what impacted us all was her call to action. She put a face on this disease in a way that was real and made us all aware that we have to get involved to support research, support caregivers and have to put an end to Alzheimer’s. Thank you to all the volunteers that made the Walk to End Alzheimer’s such a success, and thank you to Paula who inspired us all to take action.