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Socially distanced Alzheimer's Walk set for this weekend

Staff reports
Local folks flocked to the Texoma Health Foundation Park last year for the Walk to End Alzheimer's in this 2019 file photo.

Sherman’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is taking a different track this year due to COVID-19. The walk will take place Saturday with social distancing configured into the event.

In a written news release, Walk Manager Danielle Brown-Tolson said, “Because of COVID, the Association is unable to hold its usual large crowd gatherings for the popular Walk. Instead, we’re asking participants to hit the pavement in small groups or individuals, in neighborhoods, on sidewalks or on walking trails or tracks throughout the Sherman/Denison area.”

“We’re encouraging people to walk as individuals, families or small teams,” added Director of Development of the Dallas and Northeast Texas Chapter of the Association, Jennifer Bowring. “And of course, to keep at least six feet between themselves and wear masks for safe social distancing. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”

Among those walking this year are Sherman residents Beth Appleby and Heidi Torres. Appleby is one of two walk chairs for the event, and Torres is the marketing/mission chair, and both have a personal involvement with Alzheimer’s disease.

“I was introduced to the Walk in 2016 by Sherry Smith, who is our current Sherman Walk Chair,” Appleby said in the statement. “My first walk was the one at Grandscape in the Colony, and I brought my then 12 year old daughter with me and we found the experience to be very moving.”

The following year Appleby found herself caring for her father, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He died a year later. “My daughter was frustrated that there was no vaccine, pill, surgery or way to stop the disease. She challenged me to get involved.Together we worked to bring the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to Grayson County, we have started a caregiver support group and joined AIM. I am now a trained educator for the association. We didn’t know how to help Dad but now we know more how to help others,.”

Heidi Torres also lost her father to Alzheimer’s. “He was diagnosed about five years ago, and I was his caregiver for the past four years,” she said. “He died in March, just when the pandemic hit. My dad did not die from COVID-19, but the pandemic prevented our family from getting closure during his last days. The Alzheimer's Association provided resources and a sense of community when I needed it most, it is for that reason I continue to fight to find the first survivor.”

To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Sherman Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit: alz.org/walk.

Alzheimer’s Facts

Alzheimer's Facts

1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dementia

Approximately 400,000 Texans have Alzheimer's

Texas ranks 4th in number of Alzheimer's cases and 2nd in Alzheimer's deaths

Alzheimer's disease is the 5th leading cause of death in the US

In the US, someone develops Alzheimer's every 65 seconds.