‘Fighting for the First Survivor’

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ROCK SPRINGS — Bunning Park in downtown Rock Springs was the site of the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event that took place on Saturday morning. The aim of the event was to raise awareness, reflect and raise funds and support to find an end to Alzheimer’s.

Before the walk, the purple crowd was addressed by several speakers including Mayor Tim Kaumo and Sweetwater County Commissioner Jeff Smith. The bulk of the message came from Eli Allen who gave background information about Alzheimer’s Association and the donations received from the event.

According to Allen, the event raised $27,000 of a $29,000 goal. The money raised by the event will go to support the most promising research being conducted in an effort to end Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association has donated funds to thousands of research efforts throughout the years.

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Executive Director of the Wyoming Chapter of Alzheimer’s Association, Janet Lewis, pointed out the impact that Alzheimer’s has in the state of Wyoming.

“Here in Wyoming Alzheimer’s affects directly 10,000 people and 28,000 caregivers,” Lewis said. “It is still the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and in Wyoming. It kills more people every year than prostate cancer or breast cancer combined.”

Sweetwater County Commissioner, Jeff Smith, offered some insight to those who may be struggling as a caregiver. With nearly everyone knowing a friend, family member or neighbor that has battled Alzheimer’s, Smith suggested that finding the joy in the struggle is important.

“Make sure you find the joy as well,” Smith said. “The memories may not be there but the emotions can stay so make sure you have good times as a caregiver.”

A memorable walk followed after the opening ceremony. The event in it’s entirety echoed a statement made by Lewis earlier in her comments.

“Together we are fighting to find the first survivor,” Lewis said.

Check out these photos from the Walk to End Alzheimer’s:

Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo addresses the crowd.