Jim Hamilton was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago, and in 2015 his family formed its first Walk to End Alzheimer’s team in Oberlin.
“This is truly a disease that affects everyone,” said his daughter, Ginni Murphy, who is looking for fundraising volunteers for this year’s event, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 22. “I’m walking to help find a cure… to beat this disease.”
Many like Murphy are desperate to find a cure for the debilitating disease, which is the most common cause of dementia.
More than 210,000 Ohioans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which has become the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and last year cost the nation more than $259 billion.
Murphy and her mother, Lil, take care of Hamilton at his Amherst home.
“Knowing someone with Alzheimer’s is like watching from a distance a giant skyscraper being torn down one wall at a time, while the person with Alzheimer’s is laboring inside with all the chaos and noise of destruction,” Murphy recently said at a gathering of Oberlin walk committee volunteers.
Team Anytime Fitness aims to raise research money that could someday prevent the loss of loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Other teams are invited to help — sign up for the Sept. 22 walk by visiting act.alz.org/oberlin.
Registration and activities will begin at 8 a.m. that day on Tappan Square in the heart of the city’s downtown. A brief promise garden ceremony at 10 a.m. will launch the walk.
Participants can choose a one-mile or a three-mile route through Oberlin.
“By taking part in Walk to End Alzheimer’s, you’re not only making an impact today, you’re leading the way to a better future. By signing up as a team captain you can change the course and fight for the millions of people facing Alzheimer’s disease,” said Murphy.
The Oberlin event is sponsored by Kaplan’s Furniture. President Steve Kaplan and his family have been involved with the walk and the Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter for more than 14 years; he is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease in honor of his father, who died of Alzheimer’s.