Local News

Alzheimer's Walk focuses on disease, research and support services

SEBRING - Both parents of Penny Kocarek, a resident of Sebring, had Alzheimer's disease at the same time. "I have lost everything being a caregiver," she said. "But, I would do it all over again." Kocarek will be a local celebrity at the annual Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's at 9 a.m. Oct. 12 at Circle Park in downtown Sebring. Walk to End Alzheimer's is more than a walk. It is an experience for 100 participants in Highlands and surrounding counties who will learn about Alzheimer's disease and how to get involved with this critical cause, from advocacy opportunities to the latest in Alzheimer's research, and clinical trial enrollment to support programs and services. Each walker will also join in a ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is a growing epidemic and is now the nation's sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today's more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. In addition to the three-mile walk, participants will interact with local celebrities, and there will be entertainment and a special tribute to those who have experienced or are experiencing Alzheimer's. Start or join a team by going online to alz.org/walk. "We encourage citizens of Highlands and surrounding counties to join us in our fight against Alzheimer's disease by participating in Walk to End Alzheimer's," said Gloria Smith, president and CEO, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and Member of the statewide Purple Ribbon Task Force that developed an Alzheimer State Plan. "Funds raised will provide care and support to residents living with Alzheimer's, while also contributing to advancing critically-needed research." For information, contact Katie Hood at 385-3444 or hoodk@alzflgulf.org.