Walk held to benefit people with Alzheimer’s

Walk begins at 10 a.m., will be three miles along Bill Chipman trail



Walk manager Leslie Woodfill said the funds from the walk will go toward providing research dollars, education, support groups and advocacy to end Alzheimer’s.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen roots editor

Family members, friends, caregivers and supporters will gather to raise thousands of dollars for Alzheimer’s disease research during the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Pullman on Saturday.

“You miss your person when they’re gone,” walk manager Leslie Woodfill of Spokane said. “You’re still missing them because so much of who they are isn’t able to be expressed anymore.”

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the three-mile walk begins at 10 a.m. on the Bill Chipman Trail starting at the Quality Inn, she said.

The walk is free to attend, but those who donate more than $100 receive a T-shirt, Woodfill said.

To register for the walk online, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website.

Walk participants will pick a pinwheel flower upon check-in. The color of the flower corresponds to the relationship people have with Alzheimer’s disease, she said.

Yellow represents someone who is a relative, caregiver or friend of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Those who have had a loved one die from the disease will carry a purple flower. If someone does not know anyone affected by the disease, they can carry an orange flower to show their support. If someone has Alzheimer’s they will carry a blue flower.

The last flower, a new addition this year, will be carried by children.

“It’s a flower of hope,” Woodfill said. “Our hope is children in that generation will never have to worry about getting Alzheimer’s disease.”

During the promise garden ceremony at 9:30 a.m., she said walk participants will hold their flowers high when their color is called.

Woodfill said the fundraising goal this year is $35,000. Last year, teams, individuals and groups raised about $30,000 for Alzheimer’s research and support.

The leading group, called “Memory of Patricia Joan,” raised almost $3,000 so far, according to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website.

This is the sixth year the Quad Cities area has hosted a walk. Pullman and Lewiston take turns hosting, Woodfill said.

Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia disease, she said.

“That’s terrifying frankly,” Woodfill said.

Over 110,000 people in Washington live with Alzheimer’s, and 325,000 people are unpaid caregivers, she said.

“The unpaid caregivers are people like you and me,” Woodfill said. “We’re taking care of them and trying to help them through this until the end.”

She said all the funds provide research dollars, education, support groups and advocacy to ultimately end Alzheimer’s disease.