Heart disease, cancer, diabetes-great strides have been made in successfully battling these diseases. Survival rates are very high. Just a hundred years ago, polio was a death sentence. Today, it’s virtually unheard of. But there is one disease that we have yet to defeat. There are no survivor stories. And it can take years to claim its victims. Alzheimer’s disease is growing fast among our population. Some 5.5 million American’s are living with this disease today. And while most of those diagnosed are over 65, the number of individuals under 65 with early onset Alzheimer’s is growing. Deaths from Alzheimer's has increased by 89 percent since 2000.

This is not just another great cause to me, it's personal. The impact of this disease is something my family knows very well. We’ve lost several family members in the last three decades who all suffered from some degree of dementia. I recently lost an uncle to Alzheimer’s and have a cousin in managed care that has also been diagnosed. Not a day goes by that the impact this disease has had on my family does not cross my mind for at least a moment. And I'll bet most of you either have a had or currently have a family member dealing with Alzheimer's or you know someone who does.

This disease does not discriminate. It knows no bounds and any one of us is at risk, even if you don't have a family history of the disease. I’m asking you to join me in the fight. We must beat this disease and we must help support and educate the caregivers that Alzheimer’s patients depend on so much. On Saturday, September 23, you can join the fight. The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s takes place at Bud Daniel Park in downtown Wichita Falls this Saturday. Registration opens at 7:30 am, the opening ceremony gets underway at 8:45 am and the walk begins at 9 am.

You can click here to join my team or put together your own. Whatever you can donate is greatly appreciated. Whether it’s $10, $20, any amount will help continue the caregiver support that is so desperately needed now and help put us one dollar closer to an effective treatment and perhaps even a cure in the future. If you can’t join the walk, won’t you please donate and help us keep the fight going? You can also donate by phone if you wish. Contact Patty Taylor at the Alzheimer's Association chapter in Wichita Falls at 940- 767-8800. On behalf of the patients, families, and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients across Texoma and all of America, thank you and God Bless you.

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