Walkers to help battle ‘cruel, cruel disease’ of Alzheimer’s

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Linda Abbott will be laced up Oct. 24 for the Eastern Shore Walk to End Alzheimer’s, leading the team called For My Mom, and said she’d like to see others there, too.

Knowing the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease, Salisbury resident Linda Abbott, who lost her mother to the illness, became a team captain for the upcoming fund-raiser.

She’ll be laced up Oct. 24 for the Eastern Shore Walk to End Alzheimer’s, leading the team called For My Mom, and said she’d like to see others there, too.

Beginning at the MAC Center, at 909 Progress Circle, the walk is open to the public. Proceeds will be used for research.

Registration will be at 9 a.m., an hour before it begins.

There will be two routes, a three-mile one and a short journey around the Holly Center grounds.

So far, Abbott has raised $3,500, by asking friends and business owners to drop donations into her purple can, the color that represents Alzheimer’s.

At the event, a band will play and Panera Bread will provide bagels for walkers. Those who raise $100 or more will receive a purple T-shirt.

Abbott called Alzheimer’s a “cruel, cruel disease that steals the mind and cripples the physical body.”

“There is no cure. Even medications really have little effect. They are now trying to combine one drug with another but nothing slows the process. What happens is the neurons in the brain quit firing and it’s just really horrible,” said Abbott, who worked in health care 35 years before retiring.

Before Alzheimer’s, she said, her mother, who died in 2014, was an intelligent, business woman. At first, Abbott noticed her memory started to fail. Later, she had hallucinations.

Abbott became involved in the annual walk last year and said she hopes others in the community will, too. See www.alz.org.

Participants can form teams  or donate, to try and meet the goal of raising $100,000.

“I am very, very dedicated because I really studied this disease,” Abbott said, explaining it’s the sixth highest cause of death and  affects 5 million people, even those who lived healthful lifestyles.

“It’s important to get involved because money is needed for research. Alzheimer’s is the only disease that, you lose your loved one  twice  The first time is when they no longer know you and the second time is because of their death,” she said.

“It’s a disease that steals the mind and cripples your physical ability.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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