Take a walk to battle Alzheimer’s disease | NevadaAppeal.com

Take a walk to battle Alzheimer’s disease

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Kelly Ibarra has many happy memories of her grandmother, Ruth De'Rosear, who died from Alzheimer's in April. Ibarra will walk in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk on Sept. 30 in honor of her "Granny Mac."

Kelly Ibarra will be walking in memory of her “Granny Mac” come Sept. 30, the day of Carson City’s annual Memory Walk for the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern Nevada.

Ibarra lost her grandmother, Ruth De’Rosear, to the early stages of Alzheimer’s on April 24.

“She had dementia,” Ibarra said. “She was pretty much headed to Alzheimer’s at the end of her life.”

Ibarra is the chairwoman of the 2006 Memory Walk. In addition to raising money for Alzheimer’s research and treatment, Ibarra wants to bring awareness of the disease to the community.

“I want the community to know what services we have to offer in way of support groups, education and respite grants.”

Nearly 77 million baby boomers are reaching age 60, with an estimated 14-16 million people to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050. More money is needed to fund research, which is making progress in finding better treatments.

Walkers are needed to attend the Memory Walk and raise funds. A person may walk solo or form a team. Sponsorships may be in any dollar amount; there is no fee to participate.

A breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m. Registration is from 9-10 a.m., and the walk will go from 10:20-11:30 a.m. A barbecue is available for a $5 donation after the walk, around 1 p.m.

Tickets for various raffle items will be available for $1 each, or six for $5, as will tickets for a drawing for a handmade quilt.

Ibarra has incorporated something fun for the walkers called “Old Town Tour of Treasures.” A person buys raffle tickets and deposits one ticket at the location of a participating restaurant or store along the walk, and near the end will receive free “goodies” in a keepsake bag.

“All money goes to the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern Nevada,” Ibarra said. Ibarra is the outreach coordinator for the association for a group of 10 who meets two times a month at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center. She also coordinates for Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Pershing counties.

Ibarra said it is important for the family and friends of a caregiver of someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s to provide support.

“Offer to sit with the person for an hour or two – give them a break. Unless you walk in their shoes, you have no idea.

“Although this is a very sad disease, we need to learn how to love the person for who they are with the disease,” she said. “You become your parents’ parent.

“Those with Alzheimer’s are all angels in the making. People need not be afraid of Alzheimer’s, but educate themselves about the disease. It will make the transition a lot easier.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk 2006

WHEN: 9 a.m. Sept. 30

WHO: Walkers needed

WHERE: Capitol Grounds

ON THE WEB: http://www.alznornev.org

CALL: Kelly Ibarra,