The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Miami-Dade County residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Nov. 14.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues this year, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across Miami-Dade County.
“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, vice president of constituent events for the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
“With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention,” she added.
To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on Walk day, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to create an opportunity for the community to connect. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage” to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual Walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the Association and Walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease. A new audio track is available to encourage participants along the way and to congratulate them upon completion of their Walk.
Still, time-honored components of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are being replicated. On Walk Day, an opening ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.
For Liliam Lopez, committee chair for the Miami-Dade event, her reason for getting involved was her concern over the growing impacts of Alzheimer’s on people both in her community and around the world.
“This disease is affecting so many millions of people in the world and will continue to do so unless we continue in our efforts to raise funds,” Lopez said. “We are seeing that younger people are experiencing this disease and, now more than ever, we need to contribute so that we can continue supporting research and put an end to Alzheimer’s.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and an additional 16 million family members and friends are providing them with daily, unpaid care. In Florida alone, there are more than 580,000 people battling the disease and 1.1 million caregivers.
Miami-Dade County Walk to End Alzheimer’s Director Andrea Gonzalez noted, “Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we. We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”
The Miami-Dade County Walk to End Alzheimer’s will begin with an opening ceremony broadcast at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit www.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 a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Visit alz.org or call (800) 272-3900.