The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the Alzheimer’s Association’s flagship fundraiser, and its largest event, with Walks scheduled across the country from Summer through Fall. “When participating in a Walk,” says Lorey Esquibel, operations director for the New Mexico Chapter, “you help spread awareness, give hope to the community, and increase funds for research and community support.”
Check-in for the event begins at 8 a.m. The opening ceremony starts at 9 a.m., featuring celebrity guest emcees KOB News 4 anchors Erica Zucco and Rachel Hackbarth. The ceremony also features an appearance by Cabinet Secretary Myles Copeland (NM Aging & Long-Term Services Department), a raffle, bagpipers and zumba.
The Walk itself begins directly after the ceremony, at 9:30 a.m. The length of the route is 3K. All citizens and local media in the area are encouraged to attend this colorful and touching event – and be a part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s – the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs.
Under the auspices of the New Mexico Chapter, five cities in New Mexico are hosting Walks to End Alzheimer’s:
- Santa Fe Aug. 27;
- Farmington Sept. 10;
- Las Cruces Sept. 24; and
- Roswell Oct. 1.
The purpose of these walks is to raise funds and awareness to the looming public health crisis of Alzheimer’s disease. The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing – and growing fast. Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the US, and early two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s disease – 3.3 million – are women. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia*.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. The growing Alzheimer’s crisis is helping to bankrupt Medicare. In 2016, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $236 billion, with just under half of the costs borne by Medicare. This cost is projected to increase to $1.1 trillion (in today’s dollars) by 2050.
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll – not just on those with the disease, but on entire families. In our own state, 37,000 New Mexicans are suffering from Alzheimer’s. They are cared for by 106,000 unpaid caregivers, many of whom are members of their own families.