Walk to raise Alzheimer's awareness

Posted at 7:26 PM, Sep 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 08:54:42-04

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Alzheimer's is sixth-leading cause of death here in the U.S.
Sunday the annual "Walk to End Alzheimer's" was held at the State Capitol, raising money and awareness.

For many in the crowd, Alzheimer's is personal. Someone they know a family member or friend suffers from the disease. Others they know , passed away battling Alzheimer's. 
And supporters say it's all about supporting them.

"She was my great grandmother, she died about five years ago" said Erica Rodgers, National American Miss Michigan Junior Teen.

"My dad and his family, we've lost four of his siblings including him and his mother, and I also have two aunts who currently have Alzheimer's" said Pat Wieferich, local resident.

Erica Rodgers is the National American Miss Michigian Junior Teen . 
She said she comes out here to put her title to use,and spread the message of living life to the fullest.

"You need to really focus on making sure you can do everything you can with your life because diseases like this can maybe take away moments, that you maybe not get once you develop a disease like this. So when you're young and you're out there, make sure you can do everything that you can" said Rodgers.

Supports say one of the most serious effects to the disease is losing memories and the feeling of loneliness a person might go through.

Pat Wieferich, local resident, says that Alzheimer's not only effects the individuals it effects the family as well.

"Very hard to see your parents or your loved one go through that, that long struggle" said Wieferich.

Although people here have told me Alzheimer's is a sad event in their family. The Alzheimer's association say they hope people walk away a little more hopeful about the future of Alzheimer's.

"We really believe that the first survivor of Alzheimer's is out there, that's how close we are getting with the research, and that's how important it is that people support Alzheimer's research and support this cause" said Samantha West, Alzheimer's Association communications director.

Sebastian Williams is one of those supporter. 

He is inspired by his mother work with those battling the diseases.

He told WSYM's  Alani Letang he carries around a white flower as a symbol of hope.

"Its the first cure for Alzheimer's, its just a symbol for if and when we find it to give it to them" said Sebastian Williams, local resident.

Taking this walk,means getting one step closer to a cure.

Over 1,000 people gathered outside the Capitol Sunday, and $252,733 were raised for Alzheimer's research.