Over 450 walk to end Alzheimer’s, a ‘relentless disease,’ at Trailblazer Stadium

Participants of the Walk to End Alzheimer's at Dixie State University's Trailblazer Stadium in St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Holding an array of bright spinning flowers and dressed in purple, Southern Utah community members readied themselves to walk to end a “relentless” disease.

People walking to end Alzheimer’s at Dixie State University’s Trailblazer Stadium in St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

More than 450 people gathered at Dixie State University’s Trailblazer Stadium Saturday morning to walk to end Alzheimer’s disease — a disease that’s affecting more than 5 million people in the U.S., according to Alzheimer’s Association.

“The presence of Alzheimer’s continues to grow, and the costs are escalating, destroying families, our finances and our futures,” said Ronnie Daniel, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter. “This disease is relentless, but so are we.”

The disease, which progressively destroys memory and other mental functions, affects 1 in 10 seniors over 65 and 1 in 3 over 85, said Mike Miller, who began working for the Alzheimer’s Association as regional manager in St. George in August. Shortly after that, the association opened an office in St. George.

Read more: Alzheimer’s Association celebrates opening of first St. George office

During last year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, around $20,000 was raised. This year’s walk has raised over $16,000 so far.

The walk isn’t just about raising funds for research and finding a cure, Miller told St. George News.

“The other part is advocacy, making people aware of just how pervasive the disease is and trying to get their engagement.”

Dixie State University athletes participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

Members of the association were thankful to Dixie State for hosting this year’s walk, particularly the athletic department. Miller said multiple athletes participated in the walk as a service project.

“It’s great to get young people started because they have grandparents,” he said. “This helps them be aware of what might occur in their family.”

During the opening ceremony, a few people shared why the walk was important to them, including David Clark, chairman for the board of trustees at Dixie State. He lost his mother to the disease.

“If you had the opportunity to watch this awful, hated disease; watch someone, who always set an example for us, disappear inch by inch,” Clark said with a shaky voice.

David Clark, chairman of the board of trustees at Dixie State University, shares how his mother died from Alzheimer’s at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in St. George, Utah, Nov. 10, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

Before descending the stadium’s steps to take part in the walk around the track, participants held spinning flowers in the air — each color representing why they were walking. Following is what each color represents:

  • Orange: Someone who supports the cause and has a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.
  • Purple: Someone who has lost someone to Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Yellow: Someone who is supporting and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Blue: Someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s or to donate to the cause, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website or visit the St. George office, located at 1173 S. 250 West, Suite 302.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • KR567 November 10, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Great article St George news great pictures keep’em coming

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