Due to COVID-19 restrictions, organizers in Santa Maria were not able to hold an in-person event last year. However, this time around, more than 250 people signed up to participate in the Alzheimer's Association's annual Walk to End Alzheimer's event.
The walk took place at Rotary Centennial Park in Santa Maria at 9 A.M.
It's held annually in more than 600 communities across the country with the goal of raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support, and research.
“The walk to end Alzheimer's events are in some ways a celebration of life,” said Lindsey Leonard, Executive Director of California Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s an opportunity to be able to bring people together to build comradery amongst those that have been through the experience of caring for someone with Alzheimer's.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 690,000 people in California are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and over “1.12 million family and friends are providing care.”
“My mom was an amazing woman, my dad is, it's a very cruel disease,” explained Lisa Bell, a participant walking to honor her parents. “My mom used to say it’s called the long goodbye, and so I want to be able to help and get as much research and have a cure for this.”
Additional walks are planned in other local communities in the coming weeks. San Luis Obispo's walk to end Alzheimer's will take place on Oct. 30, 2021 and Santa Barbara will have one on Nov. 6, 2021.