Walk to End Alzheimer’s comes to Grand Junction
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - More than 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, the seventh-leading cause of death and the only leading disease without prevention or cure.
On Saturday, the Alzheimer’s Association, along with the community, assembled for the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” to raise funds to find a cure. “I’m here in honor of my sister Hermie Fox who has dementia,” said Teri Roth.
Roth’s sister is just one of 76,000 Coloradans living with Alzheimer’s or some type of dementia. “That is the amount of people you pretty much can fit in the Denver Broncos stadium,” said Tonja Kueper- Rinaldo, Western Colorado Walk Development director. “I mean, that’s a lot of people, right, and that’s a lot of families.”
“It’s been a wild ride. It’s something that I never thought that I would be a caregiver for my sister,” explained Roth.
Terri’s sister was diagnosed with dementia almost two years ago. “Well, to be honest with you, I just kind of went numb for a while, but then it’s like, okay, get on the ride. Let’s get going, and let’s get this figured out and let’s just go with the flow.”
Terri found support through the Alzheimer’s Association. “I go to Alzheimer’s meetings, I go to dementia meetings, and it’s educating yourself,” said Roth. “So you know how to respond and to be the best possible caregiver.”
“The hardest part is making sure in my mind that she has everything that she needs spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and making sure that the placement of that facility is the best possible one for her,” said Roth.
But she said they’re closer than ever, “I have to tell you, it’s a great journey. It hasn’t been fun, but the giggles, laughs and memories. That’s what makes your heart sing.”
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