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Walk to end Alzheimers raises funds for a future without the disease

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI)- Idaho Falls's Snake River Landing hosted the walk to end Alzheiners Saturday morning.

Many were in attendance because of their personal connection to the disease.

"My mother had a severe form of dementia...as a family member you know it's a whole different story so it was a huge learning process for me," Michelle White said.

The walk was a mile long.

The White family walked to honor their mother and they encourage all those who are currently impacted by the disease. White said, "I had to try to learn to enjoy the person, my mother became," and had to "learn to kinda go with it."

At the walk participants were all given a different colored flower.

The orange flower means while they themselves may not have been impacted by Alzheimers or other forms of Dementia, they support the cause to find a better future where the disease wouldn't have such a negative impact.

The yellow flower signified that they were currently a care giver to someone who is battling the disease.

A blue flower symbolized a person is currently battling Alzheimer's or other forms of Dementia.

And the purple flower meant someone had lost a loved one from their battle with the disease.

Scott Holmes, the CEO of Visiting Angels and the chair of the Alzheimers Association board in Eastern Idaho, says the walk is not just a fundraiser to fund research of the disease. "We want to provide them with the support, with the ability to cope with the education, and this event here makes this all possible."

Holmes says that seeing the affects as a care giver lead him to want to take action. "We were dealing with so many families with this disease who didn't know what to do, how to treat it, how to do what they needed to do." He said. "And that was the driver for me to bring the Alzheimer's Association to Eastern Idaho. It didn't exist three years ago, and it's just been a passion because of my line of work."

Over 700 people came out to support. Holmes says, "It touches everybody. And the older that you get, what's interesting, is the increased odds that you're going to get Alzheimer's or another dementia. The average age is, I believe, 80 right now, but there's also what's called early onset. And we have people in our communities that are in their fifties and sixties with Alzheimer's."

Another walk will take place next week in Pocatello.

For more information on the walk and its' goal, click here.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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