South Coast Alzheimer's walk goes virtual

Oct 21, 2020

Earlier this month, you might have seen some neighbors walking around the South Dartmouth Cemetery bedecked in purple shirts.

 Their purpose: to promote awareness and help break the stigma that surrounds Alzheimer's disease, along with raising funds to find a cure.

According to Alzhemier’s Association regional director Astrid Hendren, one in three people will develop some form of dementia, with Alzheimer's making up 80% of those cases. 

“There are blood tests coming up and medications being developed,” she said. “There is hope and we are just trying to work to help find a cure.”

Like almost everything in 2020, this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer's had to adjust to the pandemic.

 Instead of a large walk by Bristol Community College or Fort Taber park in New Bedford, participants walked as individuals and small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across the South Coast.

According to the association’s website, they’ve raised more than $65,000 so far — nearly half of their $134,00 goal.

“We had walkers all over the South Coast participating and sending in pictures,” Hendren said. “It was really amazing.” 

Dartmouth resident Margaret Law was one of many participants in Dartmouth, heading up a team of 17 walkers.

Much of her walk was centered around the southern end of town. Along her two-mile route, Law said many neighbors and teammates carried different colored pinwheels representing all of those affected by the disease.

“It was rather colorful and attracted quite a bit of attention on the streets where we walked,” Law said. “The awareness possibilities were endless.” 

Meanwhile, another group of 17 did a mile walk around the South Dartmouth cemetery to honor those who have died from Alzheimer's, with purple pinwheels placed in front of tombstones or homes.

“We just wanted to showcase the extent Alzheimer's has affected our community,” Law said.

Along with the walk, Hendren said the association is planning to host a dog and cat show on Oct. 29 featuring pets dressed in purple. The winners, she said, will be featured in the association’s 2021 calendar.

“I already have some pictures and they’re so fun,” she said.

While the walk itself ended earlier this month, donations can still be made through Dec. 31 via the Alzheimer’s Association’s website and searching dartmouthMAwalks2020.

Checks can also be mailed to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire office at 200 Executive Blvd Ste 4B, Southington, CT, 06489.