JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - More than 200 people walked in Jackson Saturday to raise awareness and support for a worthy cause.
The Alzheimer’s Associations Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness, and funds for the care of those affected by the disease, as well as support and research.
Event organizer Jameika Stuckey’s mother has Alzheimer’s. She said she noticed a change in her mother three years ago.
“We started to notice little things at first, like personal hygiene," said Stuckey. "This is a woman who had been very clean, almost ridiculously clean, very clean, very meticulous, who started to let go of her personal appearance.”
WLBT’s own Maggie Wade-Dixon recently lost her father to Alzheimer’s. He was honored Saturday.
“If you have a purple flower, please join Maggie and hold it high,” said Stuckey.
“The purple flowers represent family members that we’ve lost to Alzheimer’s disease,” added Wade.
She said it is a viscous disease.
“Nothing is more painful than when they can’t remember your name, and my dad named me, but he couldn’t say my name,” added Wade.
Mike Quayle was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015. He was asked on Saturday how he felt when he first found out.
“I don’t remember," said Quayle.
“What do you think you would have felt like?” he was asked.
“Well, the kind of person I am. I would have just said what are we going to do,” added Quayle. "Let’s get on the ball and do what we can.”
Quayle said Alzheimer’s has been the biggest challenge he has ever faced.
“Everybody forgets where they put their keys or where they put their car in the parking lot, that’s normal," said Quayle. "But if it’s an everyday thing, if you forget where the bathroom is like I do, or where the kitchen is like I have, or your grandchildren’s name like I do, go ahead to your family physician, tell them your memory isn’t working too well.”
“I am confident that one day we will add a flower," said Stuckey. "The white flower represents the first survivor of Alzheimer’s, and wouldn’t that be a lovely addition to our garden.”