Grand Junction's Walk to End Alzheimer's is coming up and it's a perfect time to raise awareness about this dreaded disease.

It's highly unlikely that you have not been touched in some way by Alzheimer's disease. Whether it's a friend or family member, most of us know someone who has suffered from the disease or who has been a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's. Personally, I've had two family members who suffered from Alzheimer's. It's a horrible disease and it's a growing problem in America.

The Alzheimer's Association office in Grand Junction has only two employees and they service nine Colorado counties. They provide training, education, and counseling, and other resources to individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's and their families. At the national level, research is ongoing to try and find a cure. That's why the funds raised through the Walk to End Alzheimer's are so critical.

Zane Mathews
Zane Mathews

The Walk happens on September 28 at Long Family Memorial Park in Grand Junction and numerous teams have been busy this summer doing fundraisers. The goal for the local walk is $85,000, which would be the most ever raised in Grand Junction. It is a very satisfying feeling to join with hundreds of people for a single worthy cause.

It's not something that's going to be the lead story on the evening news or on the front page of a newspaper, so let me share with you five alarming facts about Alzheimer's.

* Approximately 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. That's more people than the population of the entire state of Colorado.

* Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease. That means in less time than it's taken you to read this article there's been another Alzheimer's diagnosis.

* Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United State. One in three seniors will die from Alzheimer's or other dementias.

* More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias totaling 18.5 million hours of care.

* This year, Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias will cost the nation some $290 billion. That number could rise to $1.1 trillion by 2050.

Maybe you are looking for a local cause to get involved with. This might be it. If you would like to join the walk you can register online or the day of the walk. If you can't walk, you can make a donation to our team's effort right here.

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