Somerset will host it's first ever Walk to End Alzheimer's awareness walk as part of the Alzheimer's Association's national event.
The walk will take place Saturday, October 12 at MedPark West. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with a ceremony set to start at 9:45 a.m. and the walk to begin at 10 a.m.
Moriah Perry, the chair of the Somerset walk, said that there will be two routes - a short walk and a longer one - but neither are very long or difficult. People of all abilities are invited to join, and the walk can accommodate people who need wheelchairs, those bringing strollers and those with friendly dogs on leashes.
Teams of all types are invited to pre-register on the walk's website: act.alz.org/Somerset.
Those who don't want to walk but want to find a team to donate to may also use that site.
Somerset's goal is to raise $50,000.
The walk isn't just about raising money, however. Perry said it's about raising awareness and letting those who have been affected by the disease, either as a patient or as a caregiver, know they are not alone.
It's one of the reasons Perry became involved in the Alzheimer's Association after the death of her mother.
Before this year, the closest Alzheimer's Walk was in Berea.
"In my first walk in Berea, what was impactful to me was to look around and realize there are other people doing this. We're not in this alone, and that's also the mission of the Alzheimers Association, to make people aware of the resources available."
Of the money raised, 77 percent will go towards programs such as research, educational awareness, a 24-hour hotline and others; 17 percent goes towards fundraising, "because it takes money to make money," Perry points out; and six percent goes towards administrative costs.
"It's the sixth leading cause of death, and there's no known cure, way to slow it, or cause," Perry said.
Alzheimer's patients make up about 70 percent of everyone diagnosed with dementia.
Perry said it kills by destroying the patient's brain.
"Your brain forgets how to work," she said. "You eventually can't swallow, and the body forgets how to regulate itself."
What makes the Somerset walk special is that it took support from Perry, other local residents, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and other medical professionals to make it happen.
Perry said the organization was reluctant to hold one here because they weren't sure the participation would be here.
But so far Somerset teams have raised more than $30,000.