Newburgh Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises money for research and resources

Newburgh Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises money for research and resources
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s was Saturday in Warrick County, and many went in support not only of those with the disease, but also those who care for them.

Friedman Park in Newburgh was filled with splashes of purple, the signature color of the Alzheimer’s Association, as hundreds of people came together to raise money and show support for those battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Missy Patterson’s family noticed some worrying changes in her in 2019. Last year, after two years of doctor visits, they got her diagnosis: Missy has Alzheimer’s, and she was only 47.

“The biggest thing was I couldn’t believe it,” said Missy. “I mean, I’m too young for this.”

[PREVIOUS: Newburgh family prepares to attend Alzheimer’s walk]

Her family and friends have since rallied around her. About 75 of them, wearing their signature T-shirts, came to this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and they weren’t alone.

Organizers say about 500 people came to the event, which aims to raise money not only for Alzheimer’s research, but also for resources to help those suffering from the disease as well as for their caregivers.

Organizers say their fundraising goal for the event was $125,000, and they say they had $70,000 already before the event began. In a ceremony before the walk, they honored some of their most generous donors, one of which was Zeke Walters.

“We’ve been selling bracelets for money to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Zeke.

Zeke raised $2,500 with his bracelets, so organizers chose him as the lead walker once the walk began.

For Missy’s family, they say they can see the disease taking its toll on her. They say she can no longer read menus, use remote controls, or use her laptop. All of this has pushed them to savor every moment with her.

“As a family, it’s brought us all closer together, you can see the turnout we have today, but we don’t think about the future,” said Missy’s sister Lori Kendrick. “We think about day to day, taking care of what she needs day to day and enjoying her as she is right now, every day.”

Missy says she can feel everyone’s love and support, and she knows how important that is.

“I know that I can do it,” said Missy. “I know that I can do all the things, and they will help me do all the things, because I have kids that are in high school, so I’m going to need help, and I know that I have that support.”

If you missed all the fun on Saturday, you can still donate to the Alzheimer’s Association year-round, or you could start training for next year’s walk.