As the Vice President of Philanthropic Service for Sigma Kappa at Elon University, one of my main responsibilities is organizing events to benefit Alzheimer's research. Each year, our chapter participates in the Alamance Walk to End Alzheimer's in downtown Burlington, North Carolina. The event is produced by the National Alzheimer's Association, so I am not personally planning this event. However, I am the team leader for my chapter, and am encouraging each sister, and her family members, to participate in this walk to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research.
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that impacts the lives of many. It is currently the 6th leading cause of death, a statistic that was originally very shocking to me. Please view this video, produced by the National Alzheimer's Association, to learn more information about the disease and how it effects not only those with the disease, but also their caregivers.
Here are some of the quick facts about Alzheimer's that are listed on the National Alzheimer's Association's website:
- 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease.
- One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer's disease.
- Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
- More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care valued at $210 billion for persons with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
- Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012.
So, how can you help to raise awareness about this disease and fund the research needed to find it's cure? If you live in the Burlington area, I would love to invite you to join us in the Alamance Walk to End Alzheimer's. There are also walks all across the country that you can participate in if you do not live near Burlington. Visit this page to find a walk near you.
If you cannot attend a walk, I would absolutely love for you to show your support for those affected by the disease by making an online donation to our team page. It is okay if you have absolutely no connection to Sigma Kappa. All of the money raised on this website will directly benefit the National Alzheimer's Association. Any monetary amount will help to fuel the research that is so desperately needed to find a cure.
Donating online is quite simple. Just follow the link to our team page, provided above. It will direct you to a website that looks like the picture in this screen shot. To donate, click on the green "donate" button and choose a monetary amount to show your support. If you are a part of a business that matches gifts, there is also a section that allows you to double your donation by asking your employer to match your gift.
This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart, as I recently lost my grandmother who was living with dementia for about ten years. I want to be able to help the researchers in their efforts as much as I can so that others in the future can have hope of living without Alzheimer's and dementia, and I hope that I have sparked a desire for you to do the same.