On Saturday October 10, Michigan City residents will join the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease at the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s®. The Walk is the world's largest event to fundraise and raise awareness for Alzheimer's care, support, and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We walk to increase awareness of Alzheimer's disease and its impact on those living with Alzheimer's or dementia, their caregivers, and businesses small and large,” said Erin Stojic, manager, Michigan City Walk to End Alzheimer’s. “Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have cost our nation $220 billion in 2020 alone - and this amount is only expected to increase as we continue to see a higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease.”
The walk provides an opportunity for those in the Michigan City area to actively fight back against a disease that leaves so much devastation in its wake.
“So many families here in northwest Indiana are affected by Alzheimer's and dementia. They need our support, especially right now, as the pandemic has had a devastating impact on these families,” Stojic said.
The Alzheimer's Association offers free care and support to those living with the disease and their caregivers, including educational programs and support groups. Though the pandemic has posed a challenge, it has not prevented the Alzheimer’s Association from continuing that support.
“When the pandemic began, our team quickly pivoted to provide these services online and by phone,” Stojic said. “In fact, in the first few months alone, we offered more than 100 of these programs.”
The Walk also funds the 24/7 Helpline, which provides free, confidential support from licensed social workers, and research into new methods for treating and preventing the disease.
“All of our resources, care, and support are free for anyone who needs them, and our walk allows us to continue to do that for our community,” Stojic said.
One of the highlights of the event is the traditional Promise Garden. The garden is comprised of flowers of varying colors, each serving as a symbolic representation of why participants walk, and a promise to continue fighting for a cure.
“Orange is for those who support our vision of a world without Alzheimer's and dementia, blue is for those living with the disease, yellow is for caregivers, and purple is for those who have lost someone to the disease,” Stojic explained.
Collectively, the flowers become a visual of the many faces behind the fight to end Alzheimer’s, and the strength in unity they have when they come together. Due to limited capacity in Washington Park and entry being limited to LaPorte County residents this year, the Promise Garden will be located at the You Are Beautiful sculpture on Michigan Blvd.
“Since the walk draws people from surrounding cities and towns as well, we wanted to make sure the Promise Garden would be accessible to everyone,” Stojic said. “The City and Parks Department graciously allowed us to use this location instead, and we couldn't be more excited. It will be a stunning, and meaningful, backdrop for the iconic Promise Flowers.”
The Michigan City Walk will take place Saturday, October 10. There will be an opening ceremony starting at 9:00 a.m. that participants can watch from their computer or smartphone. Afterwards they will go out and walk in their communities as families and small groups anywhere they choose.
Participants will be able to visit the view-only Promise Garden at the You Are Beautiful sculpture on Michigan Blvd. any time between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00p.m.
There is still plenty of time to register and raise funds for the Michigan City Walk to End Alzheimer's! You can make a difference in your community and help accelerate research for a cure. Join today at act.alz.org/MichiganCity.