Up North: Burning calories and raising funds in the battle against Alzheimer’s

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The 2022 Twin Ports area Walk to End Alzheimer’s boasted over 540 participants and 92 teams taking part in the world’s largest event to fight the disease. Getting together to donate, burn calories, and share their stories.

“So many touching stories. People coming together and just sharing about their loved ones, many of them are caregivers,” said Walk Manager Tami Siebert.

“My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and has passed. My dad has Alzheimer’s and is, you know, plugging along. And my best friend was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s,” added participant Shari Swenson.

The slogan for this year was ‘flowers have a lot of fight in them, we do too’ which was show by participants carrying various windmill flowers. Purple representing the loss of a loved one, yellow that you are a caregiver, blue if you are currently battling the disease, and orange if you are an advocate.

“I have five grandchildren and I want them to not have to worry about this disease. So I firmly believe in a cure needs to be found. I know it’s too late for my dad and I’m praying that it’s not for my friend, but for sure for my grandchildren. I don’t want to see somebody go through this,” Swenson continued.

Walkers were then able to write messages on the flowers, which they proudly displayed for all to see.

“They are very powerful messages, these flowers are. Most people write a message on the back and then plant them in a beautiful garden,” Swenson continued.

The walk raised over $145,000 dollars towards their goal of $200,000. The main goal of the event however, to make new memories for those that have them slipping away.

“We need to make sure we make a lot of good memories because you’re not quite sure which memories you’re going to get to keep. I’m inspired to try and help people get to keep those memories that I’ve been helping them make,” concluded Siebert.