A Place for Mom joined the Seattle Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 20, 2014 to help raise awareness and funding in support of the national effort to find a cure by 2025.
A spirited group of A Place for Mom (APFM) employees, along with their friends, families and even dogs, participated in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, “The world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.”
Two corporate teams were formed, “APFM Rocks the Walk” and “APFM Let’s Make Memories,” and daily fundraising efforts were held within the Seattle office that included the sell of pulled-pork sandwich lunches to root beer float treats (and other delicious goodies in between). Including the funds raised with the Walk, all together, APFM achieved its corporate goal of $10,000.
APFM Advisor teams across North America have been participating as well, with more fundraising and Walks taking place in the next few weeks, working towards a national goal of $50,000.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s encourages individuals and communities across the nation to join in this annual awareness and fundraising event. Since Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., with more than 5 million Americans currently living with it, the organization hopes to have a world free of the disease by funding more research efforts, and to foster advanced care for those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.
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Spreading awareness and education about Alzheimer’s disease is personal for APFM. With one in eight older Americans living with Alzheimer’s, APFM employee families have personally been impacted by the disease as well. Although there is one goal everyone is working towards during the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, there are many reasons why individuals walk.
The following are the reasons why some of the APFM employees chose to walk:
1. Tracey Fitzgerald, Director of Public Relations and Communications
“For the past four years I have participated in The Walk and each year I am wonderfully surprised by the number of families and companies that come together as groups to support this event. It’s heartening to see so many people that care about trying to put an end to this terrible disease.”
2. Matthew Kennedy, Learning Business Partner
“My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s just a couple of months ago. In honor of him, and his Navy service to our country, I was proud to participate in the 2014 ALZ Walk. Since he was born in Pittsburgh, I wore a Pittsburgh Pirates hat in his honor. It was the same hat he purchased for me during our trip to Pittsburgh in 2008.”
3. Patrick Higgins, Content Marketing Specialist
“My grandmother suffered from dementia late in her life, and I felt it was important to participate to honor her memory and to support the thousands of families we help with solidarity and action. I gained a larger sense of community and was able to see and hear how the disease effects people in my city, which brought gravity to such a growing and devastating disease.”
4. Angel Ridout, Business Development Specialist
“What I will always remember is looking around and seeing all of the purple flowers (which represented the loss of someone to Alzheimer’s) and here and there in the crowd I saw blue flowers (which represented having Alzheimer’s) — very sobering to realize just how many people are affected by it today. Even so, there was an air of optimism and fun throughout the walk. I think that is how we need to think of Alzheimer’s, sobered by the fact it is affecting so many, but with a sense of optimism that there will be treatments and cures in the future.”
5. Chelsia Hart, Editor in Chief
“I participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor of my uncle Bob who currently suffers from the disease. I’m grateful for everyone who donated, and it was heartwarming to see so many people come together to fight this terrible disease!”
6. Heather Smith, Human Resources Director
“My grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s so the walk is personal. It’s a time to reflect on the man he was and work to prevent others from suffering the same slow decline.”
7. Camille Cleveland, SVP, General Counsel and Company Secretary
“I LOVED hanging out last Saturday with my A Place for Mom peeps at the Alzheimer’s Walk at South Lake Union. It felt great walking together and representing our company and showing solidarity with such a wonderful charitable organization.”
8. Gavin Woody, VP, Call Center Operations
“My grandmother began suffering from the effects of dementia during the last few years of her life. Going through that experience with her, as well as trying to find the right place that could care for her, was a big part of why I joined A Place For Mom. The Walk was a way for me to provide support for finding a cure for this tragic disease that steals people away from their families.”
9. Nikki Johnson, Human Resources Generalist
“I’m proud to have been part of such a good cause and love that APFM supports finding a cure for Alzheimer’s too. I definitely plan to do it again next year.”
10. Thuy Nguyen, Corporate Counsel
“Supporting research and funding for Alzheimer’s reinforces our mission of supporting families. It was great to walk with our team, and to see each of our internal departments represented in the walk.”
11. Erin Kirby, Business Development Specialist
“I have never known anyone personally who has faced Alzheimer’s. I wanted to be part of showing those who do that our company really cares what they are going through.”
Has your family been personally impacted by Alzheimer’s disease? How do you help raise awareness and contribute to advocacy? Please share your stories in the comments below.