About 300 supporters gathered Saturday morning at Farrington Field to raise awareness and funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
The 2015 Fort Worth Walk to End Alzheimer’s was forced to change location Saturday morning due to heavy rain in the Fort Worth area, but people participated, walking with umbrellas and in ponchos.
Theresa Hocker, president and CEO of the North Central Texas Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, said the event is a significant event designed to help bring awareness for community members and fundraise money for local services and advance the research.
“People want to do something, they want to contribute,” Hocker said. “Dollars that we need to provide local services and to advance the research.They’re willing and doing a fabulous job to raise money.”
Hocker said the disease is horrible, and supporters who might have experienced or witnessed the effect of Alzheimer’s have the desire to contribute and do something.
“I think it’s just so much their passion when you have dealt with the disease and have witnessed what it does to someone, overtime continue to take away their ability,” Hocker said. “You just have the urgency that I want do something.”
Hocker also said the weather could have been worse, but everyone was able to get together. She added she is grateful that everyone showed great commitment and great support in the fight against the Alzheimer’s disease.
“I’m amazed that this many people and the long line of volunteers that we have at 6 o’clock this morning,” Hocker said.
One volunteer, Chris Lokey, was recognized as the top individual fundraiser at the event and was awarded the title of honorary chair. Lokey raised more than $8,000 for the walk.
He said he was inspired to raise the money on behalf of his wife Judith Jaunters and because he felt the need to give back to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Coming to the Alzheimer’s Association gave us that education and support that we needed to learn how to take care of Judith,” Chris said. “We went to their support group. They were valuable to us.”
The walk was also personal for Preeya Brookins, whose mother and uncle were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“We feel like the genes may be genetic in the family,” Brookins said. “All of us are affected.”
Brookins said her whole family wanted to participate in the walk, despite the weather, because it provides hope and she has faith there is a cure somewhere that someone has not found.
“The whole family is affected and it’s very sad disease.” Brookins said “To me, being out in this rain has not affected me one bit. I don’t care about getting wet or being sick because I know by the end of the day I’m still not in their situation.”