Home News Local News Hundreds of people walk to honor, raise awareness

Hundreds of people walk to honor, raise awareness

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Participants wave flowers at the start of the Walk to End Alzheimer's southeastern regional event Saturday morning that began in downtown Roswell at the Pioneer Plaza. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The two-mile walk took people north to the New Mexico Military Institute overpass bridge and back downtown.

Adrian Rodriquez and his daughter, Addison, enjoy a little dancing before the start of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Rodriquez, from El Paso, is a board member with the New Mexico chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

More than 300 people were expected to join the effort, the major fundraising event for the southeastern chapter, which has a goal of raising $40,000 by Dec. 31 from individuals as well as numerous business sponsors.

So far, about $18,000 has been raised, said Priscilla Lujan, southeastern regional manager for the New Mexico chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Our services and programs are provided at no cost to the people we serve,” Lujan said, “so we rely on the money we raise.” People raising funds and walking include those diagnosed with dementia, their loved ones, caregivers and others supporting the effort to fund research, treatment and support. The colors of flowers held represent which category of supporters people were in — blue for those diagnosed, purple for those with loved ones affected by the diagnosis, yellow for caregivers and orange for supporters of the cause.

According to information given by speakers, including Mayor Dennis Kintigh, who proclaimed the day in honor of the walk, 38,000 people in New Mexico have been diagnosed with dementia and 106,000 friends and family care for them. Alzheimer’s is considered the most expensive health care crisis in the nation, costing $259 billion a year.

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