Walk to end Alzheimer's returns to Kleiner Park in Meridian

Posted at 2:49 PM, Oct 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-01 16:49:38-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease that makes life hard for people who have it, but it also makes it tough for family members who have to watch their loved ones go through it.

Every year the Alzheimer's Association hosts 600 walks across the country with four of them happening here in Idaho, it's their biggest fundraiser of the year and this year it returned to Kleiner Park after being virtual each of the past two years.

"I come every year to support the Alzheimer’s Association of Idaho," said Nancy Berto who lost her husband Roy two years ago to Alzheimer's. "Roy worked 30 years for Amalgamated Sugar, he’s a native Idahoan and he was also a hot air balloon pilot."

The Walk to End Alzheimer's helps people come together to support each other in the face of this terrible disease, but the walk also helps connect families with resources as well as raise money to find a cure.

"Here in Idaho we have 27,000 who are living with the disease and we have 40,000 caregivers many of them aren’t being paid or they are family members," said Jeremy Schlader who lost his mother in 2018 to Alzheimer's. "It effects so many more people than just the folks living with the disease and it is a very tough thing."

The event features different color flowers for people to take on the walk, orange is for people who are there to support the cause, yellow is for the caregivers, blue is for people who are living with Alzheimer's and purple are for people who have lost loved ones to this disease.

"I have my husbands name on here and a heart," said Berto. "He was my sweetheart and I come every year in his memory."

The Alzheimer's Association has a goal of raising $240,000 this year, they have reached 70 percent of that goal with that number jumping up since I checked yesterday and as the numbers come in the next few days it will continue to rise.

If you missed the walk or would like to donate you can click here, the ultimate goal is to see someone walk with a white flower which will symbolize the first survivor of Alzheimer's.

"I truly believe that with research being done and the attention we are being able to give to it, we will have someone to represent that flower and have our first survivor of the disease," said Schlader.

Alzheimer's has also effected several members of the Idaho News Six team and every year we put together a team to walk and help raise money for the fight against Alzheimer's.