WCU walks for Alzheimer’s

On April 23, over 60 participants gathered on a sunny Saturday morning on the UC lawn to run, walk and volunteer for a great cause.

The recreational therapy program and the Alzheimer’s Association partnered to raise money for research of the Alzheimer disease through a 5k run/walk.

Alzheimer effects approximately 200,000  Americans under the age of 65. This disease is progressive and causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time severely interfering with an individual’s daily life.

This disease significantly impacts the life of the patient as well as the family making them feel helpless, so recreational therapy major Ariel Malphrus decided to do something to help.

After participating in an Alzheimer’s walk in Hendersonville, NC last year Ariel was approached by the Alzheimer’s Association about holding a fundraiser on campus. She decided to do a 5k since “everybody here is very active.” Ariel is very passionate about advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves and hopes that this event inspires others to get involved as much as they can.

The event raised over $1,300. All proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Association of Asheville.

 One of the first people to show up for registration was Phillip Dills, a junior here at WCU. Dills personal connection to the disease motivated him to run for change.

“My motivation would probably be my grandparents. Both my grandmothers had Alzheimer’s. It was very difficult not being able to do anything for them at a young age but now that I’m older I can do more, I’m able to participate and help out. Every little bit counts,” said Dills.

Participant and volunteers alike all shared a similar goal, to help in any way they can and raise money for such a worthy cause. Many volunteers had personal ties to the Alzheimer’s Association including sophomore Mackenzie Brown whose grandmother is currently battling with the disease.

 “I hope that people will learn that you can make a difference even with simple things like this (the 5k),” said Brown.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease visit: alz.org