One year ago, I had the opportunity to walk for the first time to raise awareness and support for Alzheimer’s care and support. I was surrounded by other beautiful people whose lives had been impacted in some way by Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
I learned that there were Promise Flowers of various colors that communicated a different connection to the cause:
- Orange represents overall support of the cause
- Blue shows that someone is living with the disease
- Yellow shows that someone is a caregiver to a person living with the disease
- Purple represents that someone has lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia
I walked with joy, remembering my grandmother who passed a few years ago after an intense struggle with this disease - purple flower held high. She was an amazing woman, from Washington state (the “Northbest”), who imparted a passion for, both, enjoying the outdoors and having a keen design appreciation. I realized that I was not alone in this struggle that impacts so many. The walk is put on by the Alzheimer’s Association and brings together participants of all ages and abilities in over 600 communities nationwide.
Fast forward to this year, and I have learned a lot and grown in my passion to be involved. According to the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County, it’s estimated that right now 5.7 million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease and it’s the leading cause of disability. In 2017, 16,689 residents over the age of 65 had Alzheimer’s in Volusia!
In the face of these realities, my team and I at Markentum have begun to share good news and support for everyone involved with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Through our participation in The Longest Day and other events, we hope to encourage everyone facing this disease in one way or another. You are not alone!
New to The Walk To End Alzheimer’s this year, was the introduction of the one white flower. This flower represents the first survivor of Alzheimer's, and serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder to continue until a cure is discovered.
To support this idea, Markentum designed a new shirt with the colors of the flowers displayed for all to see and feel supported. On November 10th, as we walked, I was once again surrounded by people who knew the pain I experienced and also were hopeful for the future. Laughter and tears were shared. Every age participated and we reminded each other that we will continue to make progress in the work to end Alzheimer’s.
One day, we will see that first white flower, the first survivor of Alzheimer’s, shining bright in the middle of all the other flowers. Until then, I continue to remember my grandmother, and all the other amazing people that faced this disease. I am thankful for their lives and how my life has been changed because of them. Each step is a step towards a brighter tomorrow.
If you would like to grow with us in helping to raise understanding and support, our team at Markentum encourages you to connect with the Alzheimer’s Association and learn more today!