Nearly 4.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimers. The disease affects memory, and over time, eventually leads to death.
"The day she didn't know who I was. No matter how much you prepare for that day, it just rips your heart out," said Brian Finnegan, whose mother suffers from the disease.
That's why he and many others are dedicating their time, energy, and money to the 5th Annual Memory Walk, the local version of a national fundraiser for Alzheimers research.
"Well, I just think it is very important to raise awareness about Alzheimers and mainly give family members and caregivers the resources to deal with it," said Amy Bishop of Weems Mental Health, whose father died of the disease. She is a team captain.
"I think the hardest thing was just accepting the fact that he did have Alzheimers, and he wasn't the person he used to be," Bishop said.
Almost $150 million has been raised in the last 10 years for Alzheimers research nationwide. But there is still a lot of work left to be done. Locally, corporate sponsors are still needed, along with volunteers and money.
"Because there is hope on the horizon for new medication and this, of course, takes money," said Finnegan. "And that's what we are trying to do here."