People walk to end Alzheimer's

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - For the final time this year, people in Central Nebraska took steps to put an end to Alzheimer's, but the fight is far from over.

People held up different color flowers to represent their reason for participating in the Kearney Walk to End Alzheimer's Sunday at Yanney Park. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

The Alzheimer's Association hosted their Kearney Walk to End Alzheimer's Sunday. People walked around Yanney Park to raise money, and awareness for the disease.

Wendy Kreis walked for her mom, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's more than three years ago. She's now her mom's caregiver and guardian.

"My dad was unable to continue to care for my mom, because the disease had progressed enough and he yelled for help," Kreis said.

Kreis held a yellow and blue flower during the walk. The yellow flower represents those who care for someone with Alzheimer's. She held the blue flower for her mom. It represents someone living with the disease.

Alzheimer's isn't foreign to Kreis. Her grandfather died from the disease. Hearing her mom would also have to battle Alzheimer's struck a chord of fear in Kreis.

"Just seeing what my grandfather went through, and just wondering how this was going to look and how it was going to pan out were probably the biggest questions. And they still are every single day. Everything's kind of learning as you go with this process. So my heart's there. Just trying to provide the best care for her as we can," Kreis said.

Kreis believes these walks are essential to do that.

The Kearney Walk to End Alzheimer's is the largest of the Tri-Cities. Around 60 teams participated. People raised $53,000 for treatment and research to find a cure to Alzheimer's.

"It connects people," said Cassie Larreau-Bailey, Alzheimer's Association. "There are all sorts of people sitting together at different tables, and it allows them to share those stories, and really connect and give advice and really make those connections,"

Everyone held different color flowers to represent their reason for walking, but all of them are united in the fight to end Alzheimer's.

The Alzheimer's Association is about $10,000 short of their goal for the Kearney Walk.

It's not too late for you to donate. You can go to alz.org/walk to donate until December 15.