Central Oregonians rally to fight Alzheimer's

More than 100 take part in annual event

C. Oregonians walk to fight Alzheimer's

BEND, Ore. - Flowers and the color purple flooded Bend's Riverbend Park Sunday morning as more than 100 Central Oregonians came together to fight Alzheimer's disease in the Alzheimer's Association's 'Walk to End Alzheimer's."

The flowers represented the ways in which people are affected by the disease: one color for those who had the disease, another for those who lost someone to Alzheimer's and so on.

Bend resident Barb McCown has a different name written on each petal of her purple flower.

"My mom passed away from it," McCown said. "Quite a few of her family members have been affected by it, and it's just a cause that's dear to my heart."

McCown said she hopes the awareness and money raised from the event will eventually help fund a cure or slow down the disease.

She said her mother was in her 60s when she died of Alzheimer's.

"The person leaves way too early. It's kind of like they die twice, because they just aren't the same person anymore," McCown said.

Redmond resident Richard Glassgow carried a blue flower. He's been battling the disease himself since 2002.

He said he'd never been to a support walk for Alzheimer's, but was overwhelmed by the support.

Glassgow said the disease isn't just frustrating for him, but difficult for his wife.

"They ask you to do something, and you forget to do it," Glassgow said.  "Or they tell you something, and you forget about it. I ask her (his wife) about six times a day about things she's already told me about."

Walk organizers said they expected to raise about $30,000 from the event, and 60 percent of those funds will stay to fight the disease in Central Oregon.

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