Alzheimer’s

Fighting for the first survivor

With the Acadiana Walk to End Alzheimer's on Sept. 16, several in the community are sharing their connection to the disease. These are the Faces of Alzheimer's. Christine Payton is chair of the walk and communications and marketing director at SLCC. Leigh Guidry, Caitlin Jacob and David D'Aquin/USA Today...

With the Acadiana Walk to End Alzheimer's on Sept. 16, several in the community are sharing their connection to the disease. These are the Faces of Alzheimer's. Christine Payton is chair of the walk and communications and marketing director at SLCC. Leigh Guidry, Caitlin Jacob, and David D'Aquin/USA Today Network

Walk to End Alzheimer's is a national rally to find a cure to the 6th leading cause of death in The United States: Alzheimer's.

Christine Payton, of Team Mergist, prays for the day there will be a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

"What a day it would be if we had a sea of white flowers. We walk for that day and that we can find that we have a survivor here in Louisiana," says Payton. 

The sea of flowers Payton is referring to is part of the promise garden ceremony held at The Walk to End Alzheimer's.

White represents survivors of Alzheimer's disease.

More: Memories lost, peace found on Alzheimer's lonely journey

But currently, there are no white flowers, only a sea of yellow, orange, purple and blue; each representing the impacting reality of Alzheimer's effect on Louisiana and The United States.

  • Orange: I support the fight to end Alzheimer's
  • Yellow: I am a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's 
  • Blue: I have Alzheimer's
  • Purple: I have lost someone to Alzheimer's
The Walk to End Alzheimer's is a national rally that raises awareness and the funds necessary to research for a cure for Alzheimer's disease. 

Lafayette's Walk is set for 8-11:30 a.m. Sept. 16, at Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston St., Lafayette.

"Walking is a very easy way to do something to help the cause," says Adrienne Muller, head of the LA Chapter of Alzheimer's Association. 

"Nationally, every 66 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It's the sixth leading cause of death in The United States and kills more than breast and prostate cancer combined," says Muller. 

It is free to walk and all donations are accepted.

A minimum donation of $100 will get you an official Walk to End Alzheimer's T-shirt.

Muller says there are many ways to raise money to reach the $100 minimum, including bake sales, work rallies and simply asking your family to donate.

"This walk is a celebration and a remembrance. We are there to celebrate and fight for the first survivor," says Muller.

Payton, a caregiver to her mother who has Alzheimer's disease, has become a large participant in Lafayette's Walk to End Alzheimer's.

"I walk because it gives me an outlet. I can tie that with a passion to do something about this disease by raising money, doing the walk and doing something to get closer to a cure," says Payton. 

Lafayette's goal for this year's walk is to raise $109,000. Thirty-thousand has been raised so far.



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