HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds walked and thousands more attended the Pioneer Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s Sunday morning.
22News anchor Barry Kriger emceed the event, speaking to a crowd of people impacted by the disease.
Jerod Yelniek, a Springfield resident who’s mother in law has Alzheimer’s, said “It’s hard. Alzheimer’s is terrible to watch somebody go through. Somebody who doesn’t remember who you are from one day to the next”.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and family members and caregivers told 22News it can be painful to watch the progression of the disease slowly destroying a loved one’s memory.
Stacey Rossanl with New England Geriatrics said “What families goes through is just so very difficult, you watch your loved ones decompensate, and it can very from just a few years, to up to fifteen years, and it’s a very very difficult disease”.
Nicole Ferris said her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago. She said the disease is a struggle, but the walk to end Alzheimer’s gives her hope for the future.
Ferris said “It’s a day by day thing, and some days are worse then others, all in all it’s really difficult, and it goes really fast, the disease progresses super fast. But it is really great to see everybody coming out and supporting the cause. It’s great, and it does give me hope”.
The Pioneer Valley walk to end Alzheimer’s raised more than $156,000 dollars, well on its way towards its goal of a quarter of a million dollars.