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Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death for individuals age 65 and older. This devastating and debilitating disease is the ultimate thief — of memories, independence, control, time, and, ultimately, life.

And the disease is often dealt with in silence. Those facing the disease feel a stigma surrounding their diagnosis and often don’t seek the support they need.

At the Alzheimer’s Association, we hear from individuals daily that they “feel alone.” Family and friends stop visiting because of “abnormal” behavior — a symptom of the disease — and caregivers become more and more isolated.

We want patients and their families to know that there is hope, and there is help, through the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania.

There are more than 5 million Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and more than 15 million caregivers. In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 400,000 individuals diagnosed.

We are here to provide education and support to the millions who face dementia every day, while advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention, ultimately to end Alzheimer’s disease.

We have offices locally and support groups throughout the region for those facing this disease to meet with others in similar situations.

We also host the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This is the association’s largest annual awareness and fundraising event, which occurs during the fall. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a day of hope, an opportunity — a day we all come together to see that we’re not alone in our fight.

Some walk to honor and remember those they have lost. Some walk to share stories of living with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. Some walk so that future generations won’t have to face the debilitating and devastating effects of the disease. Some walk because they want to help make a difference and bring this disease to the forefront.

The money raised allows our chapter to contribute to research to find a cure. These funds also help support programs and services that advance accurate and timely diagnosis of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

In addition, money raised ensures significant increases to affordable, high-quality care and support for people with the disease and their caretakers.

Help us break the silence and start the conversation. Join us, along with thousands of others in your community, at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Local walks include:

 

Saturday, Sept. 29

Overlook Park, Lancaster

Registration at 8:30 a.m.

Walk at 10:20 a.m.

 

Saturday, Oct. 6

City Island, Harrisburg

Registration at 10 a.m.

Walk at 11:30 a.m.

 

Saturday, Oct. 20

John Rudy Park, York

Registration at 8:30 a.m.

Walk at 10:20 a.m.

 

Register today at www.alz.org/walk or call our helpline, available 24 hours, seven days a week, at (800) 272-3900.

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