Saturday’s MAC Walk to help fund Alzheimer’s research, assistance

 

Ann Kuhn Purnell of Salisbury died on Christmas Eve in 2014, following a 12-year struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Anne Purnell

“Alzheimer’s is one of the most insidious diseases that we have to deal with. And people don’t talk about it,” said Susan Kuhn Purnell, Ann Purnell’s daughter. “When someone has a heart attack or gets cancer, people flock to give them support. But it’s different with Alzheimer’s. People don’t know what to say to them, so they just quit saying anything.”

“Alzheimer’s patients, because it is such a long goodbye, tend to be forgotten after a while,” she added.

“I found that with my mother, who was such a friendly person. At the end she had very few friends who showed up to see her, They didn’t know what to say to her or how to behave with her,” Purnell said. “But that’s very easy, you just be yourself.”

Purnell, a community and business leader and owner of Kuhn’s Jewelers in Salisbury, is doing her part to increase awareness of the disease and the need for caregiver support. This is her third year serving as the honorary chairman for MAC Inc.’s annual St. Paddy’s Day 5K Run/2-Mile Walk. This year’s event will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Salisbury Elks Lodge. Check-in begins at 2 p.m.

Registration is under way. The cost is $25 for walkers; $25 for runners in advance and $35 the day of the race.

Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers, in addition to the top three finishers in the various age divisions. An awards party following the race is free to participants; $5 per guest; and $15 for families of three or more; children under age 5 will be admitted free. The party will feature food, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and an auction.

The theme of the run/walk is “Racing For a Reason.” All proceeds will support MAC Inc. programs and services for family members, caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

For race information, call 410-742-0505, ext. 118; email cfr@macinc.org; or visit macinc.org/st-paddys-5k.html

Purnell is grateful for the help MAC provided her mother, and remains dedicated to helping others by increasing awareness about the services MAC offers for family members, caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s.

“Thank you for running for people like my Mom, who just needed a little extra attention and a lot of love,” Purnell said. “MAC programs give them just that, and a whole lot more.”

“I think she would be happy that I’m doing this for other people who are going through what she went through,” she added.

 

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