KAPA‘A — There are more than 29,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Hawai‘i, said Justin George of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“That’s not all of the people with struggle with Alzheimer’s,” George said. “Those are the ones who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. How many others are out there that we don’t know about?”
Jen Odence, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s walk manager, said not all of them can walk.
“And what about the unseen caregivers?” said Kaulana Mossman, who took on the role of the Kaua‘i Walk coordinator. “Caregivers in Hawai‘i provide an estimated $1.9 billion in unpaid care. You can walk for those with Alzheimer’s who would want to be at the Walk, but can’t. Or, you can walk for the caregivers that are not able to walk because they are providing care.”
Every walker at the Alzheimer’s Walk builds the Promise Garden with their selection of four different colors of flowers. Blue represents someone living with Alzheimer’s, or another dementia. Purple represents those who lost someone to the disease. Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting, or caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s, and orange is for those who support the cause and the Alzheimer’s Association vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.
The Kaua‘i Alzheimer’s Walk will take place on Aug. 26 starting with registration at 7:30 a.m. Walkers are expected to be on Ke Ala Hele Makalae by 8:30 a.m., following the 8 a.m. opening ceremonies.
Odence expects a field of 200 walkers, but according to the website act.alz.org, Kaua‘i has 77 walkers registered with 18 teams. The financial goal for this year’s walk is $67,000 with the island’s sponsors already reaching about 60 percent of that goal.
Sponsorship opportunities still exist to join the island ‘ohana of sponsors that include Edward Jones as the national sponsor. Local sponsors include ‘Ohana Pacific Management Co., and Kaua‘i Adult Day Health, Allstate Insurance, Yukimura &Associates, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, First Hawaiian Bank, Gather Federal Credit Union, Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Kukui‘ula, Oasis on the Beach, Oceanfront Sotheby’s International Realty, Pacific Media Group, PS&D Tires and Napa Kaua‘i, Shioi Construction, United Healthcare Community Plan and Wilcox Health.
“Our time is now,” Mossman said. “Momentum toward the national goal of treating and preventing Alzheimer’s by 2025 continues to build. By being part of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, you are part of the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all bother dementia.”
Dr. Laurel Coleman, representing the Alzheimer’s Association at the recent Kiwanis Kupuna Spelling Bee, said there’s always breakfast by Arnold Leong of the Fah Inn. And entertainment by the walk’s emcee Ron Wood, and Taiko Kaua‘i.
To register, or donate, visit act.alz.org. Be sure to have your ZIP code handy to get to the Kaua‘i Walk to End Alzheimer’s registration page.
Source: The Garden Island