Alzheimer’s disease is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States today. That sobering fact hits close to home for WJJY morning radio host Ken Thomas, who lost his father to the disease last spring.
Thomas and his four sisters will serve as the honorary chair family for the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 24 at Brainerd’s Kiwanis Park.
“It is amazing to think how many families have to find their way through this,” Thomas said. “Being a caregiver, let alone struggling with the emotional aspects when you are dealing with a loved one, is just daunting.”
Thomas said one of his sisters took over primary caregiver duties, moving his father into her family’s home. Meanwhile, the rest of the siblings took turns relieving her each weekend.
“There is such comfort in having this shared experience with so many caregivers and families who know the devastation of Alzheimer’s,” he said. “It is a great honor to be able to now share that with our community and help spread awareness in this role as honorary chair.”
Thomas was involved with the walk event last year and said it is vital to raise awareness and research dollars for a disease that is gaining ground on our aging population.
The area Lakes Area Walk to End Alzheimer’s planning group encourages everyone to come out for the event, volunteer to help, or contribute to the cause. For more information, call Pam at 831-3562.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and 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. For more information visit www.alz.org.