Finding treatments for Alzheimer’s and helping people with the disease and their families represent issues that people in Muscatine care about. With several support groups and a history of doing fundraisers, it only makes sense that local residents would step up to bring the Walk to End Alzheimer’s here. Now, the walk’s organizers invite the community to get involved and join the fight to end this disease.
According to Megan Francis, an organizer for the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the city abounds in opportunities for people with Alzheimer’s and their families to get help and support. “There are two local support groups in Muscatine. Sunset Support Group meets at Lutheran Living. Evening meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:30 pm, while daytime meetings are on the 3rd Thursday from 1pm-2pm. Memory Café is a social support group, coordinated by Sunnybrook Assisted Living and Memory Care, at the Coffee Belt the second Thursday of every month from 10:30 am-12:00 pm.”
While members of both groups have worked to raise money for the cause they care about, Muscatine has never hosted a Walk to End Alzheimer’s before now. “This is considered Muscatine’s first Walk to End Alzheimer’s with the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Francis. “However, there was a group made of representatives from Bickford, Lutheran Living, Premier Estates, and Sunnybrook who previously coordinated a local Memories Start with Us walk to end Alzheimer’s that raised funds for the Alzheimer’s Association and was supported by the Association, so it is nice to have the Alzheimer’s Association and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s back in Muscatine.”
Now that Muscatine has its own official Walk to End Alzheimer’s, organizers urge local residents to get involved. A large event, Francis assures those interested in supporting the Alzheimer’s association that they can help out in a number of ways.
In order for the walk to succeed, people need to sign up both to walk and to fundraise. Francis explained, “To participate, individuals need to register and fundraise for donations and/or make a personal donation. Prizes are included with fundraising, and each person who raises $100 or more receives a 2019 Signature Walk to End Alzheimer’s event shirt. Register at www.alz.org/walk.”
For those more interested in working behind the scenes, the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s will need many volunteers. Francis elaborated, “Individuals can also volunteer for the event – we are still looking for volunteers. A link to sign up to volunteer can be found on the Muscatine Walk to End Alzheimer’s Facebook Group or interested parties can call Michelle Kelman, with the Alzheimer’s Association at (319)-237-4900.
However you would like to participate, Francis encourages you to get out and support this great cause. “Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease,” she emphasized. Alzheimer’s affects many people in Muscatine, whether they have the disease themselves or care for someone who does. Since people dealing with Alzheimer’s frequently feel isolated, Francis and everyone organizing this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s want to use the walk to remind everyone affected they have allies, and that together with the community they can make a positive difference.