Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises nearly $300K to find a cure, provide support

The walk has raised nearly $300K to help find a cure and provide support services to those impacted by the disease. (Provided by Alzheimer’s Association)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds came out Saturday to the University of North Florida for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which has raised nearly $300,000 to help find a cure and provide support services to those impacted by the disease.

The walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that impacts thinking, memory and behavior. There is no cure or effective treatment -- yet. The goal of the walk is to change that.

Vena Patton, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year, walked for herself and for her late parents, Devon and Vernell, who passed from the disease.

Patton walked with them in previous walks and now walks with friends for the thousands of Floridians facing this disease.

Vena Patton was diagnosed with Alzheimer's earlier this year. (Provided by Alzheimer’s Association)

According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine Floridians age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s -- that’s about 580,000 people.

More than 16,000 in Duval County are living with Alzheimer’s, the organization says.

Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s cases are women.

Elisa Worden is a caregiver for both of her parents living with mild cognitive impairment.

“Both of my parents now live with me. And so help me if I haven’t already taught my boys the family mantra, ‘It’ll be alright; This is harder on us than it is on them.’ But here’s the truth: it’s hard on all of us. No one gets off ‘easy’ with this disease. And, no, it is most definitely not alright,” said Worden.

Elisa Worden is a caregiver for both of her parents living with mild cognitive impairment. (Provided by Alzheimer’s Association)

Residents can still donate to the Walk at alz.org/Jacksonville.

For questions, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org.