Thousands walk to end Alzheimer’s at Spirit Communications Park

Allen Wallace photos.

The concourse at Spirit Communications Park is one-third of a mile around. Saturday morning, that was barely enough to contain the line of people taking part in the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

More than 2,000 people joined in the annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, which provides care and support for those suffering from the disease as well as money for researchers working to cure it.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to the clinical trials taking place right here in South Carolina,” said Sheila Lewis, Midlands area program director for the SC Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Those trials will be the focus of another big event Nov. 9: the statewide Alzheimer’s Association research conference at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in the Vista. Among those presenting their latest work will be Dr. Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Saturday, the focus was less on hard science and more on hope, and on celebrating the memory of those lost and the presence of those still fighting the disease. U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson and University of South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley were among those on hand, and organizers paid a special tribute to longtime supporter Joe Pinner, who recently retired after a 55-year career in Columbia television news.

“Today was a great event,” Lewis said. “Each and every year it gets bigger and bigger, and our volunteers, we just can’t say enough about them.”

More information about the Alzheimer’s Association and the upcoming conference is available at the South Carolina chapter’s website.

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