The state of Arizona leads the country in the fastest growth of Alzheimer’s. Officials from the Alzheimer’s Association said every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s.
Yuma resident, Lorri Nienaber could never imagine her mother would be one of them.
” I cried. It was ‘ Why my mom? Why our family. What does the future hold? ‘ .
For Carol Underhill, it was heartbreaking to see the man she called her hero slowly lose his memory.
” There was times where he was dad. And he knew me and he knew what was going on. But he didn’t know his way around. He could easily get lost. He’d go out the front door and he’d get lost. ”
Even though Underhill’s father lost his fight against Alzheimer’s, parts of him were still there till the very end.
” I said, ‘ Daddy, I’m so sorry this is happening to you. And I love you. ‘ And he said, ‘I love you to honey.’ So for him to say that, that was my dad. For him to say that and say it that way, that was my dad. So he was there, ” said Underhill.
On Saturday hundreds participated in ” Yuma’s Walk To End Alzheimer’s ” to honor and support those battling the disease.
Morgen Hartford, the Southern Arizona Regional Director for the Alzheimer’s Association said at Saturday’s event, ” They walk together in solidarity. Hand in hand. Knowing that people aren’t alone in this. That they can come together and show their support together and rally for a change. You know this end to Alzheimer’s disease. ”
Nienaber hopes that someday, she’ll live in a world free of Alzheimer’s.
Nienaber added, ” Helping to find a cure. And hope that this doesn’t happen. My daughters are here with their husbands today. And I hope that it never happens to them. Or I hope that they never have to take care of me. So it just fills my heart with love and joy that I’m out here doing this today. ”
Over $30,000 was raised to help continue the search a cure for Alzheimer’s, as well as provide services for families.