By JB Clark
TUPELO – Advocates for Northeast Mississippi Alzheimer’s victims raised approximately $35,000 leading up to Saturday’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Ballard Park.
More than 300 people attended the walk, many walking in support of loved ones who are battling Alzheimer’s.
“We’re out here for my mom,” said Lori Smith, whose mother Lois Spruill has had Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. “We first noticed 10 years ago when she started repeating things over and over again and it’s just gotten worse since.”
Smith said she got connected to the Mississippi chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association through the Avonlea assisted living center in Tupelo.
“The people at Avonlea are here in support of (the Alzheimer’s Association) because they come to the home for assistance and counseling,” Smith said.
Keri Roaten, co-chair of Tupelo’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, said 85 percent of the money raised by walkers will stay in North Mississippi. It will be used to fund training and educational programs as well as the 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900).
Smith said before Avonlea and the Alzheimer’s Association, she didn’t know what to do or where to go to help her mother.
Co-chair Shelli Wood said this year’s 300 walkers raising $35,000 is a long way from the first Alzheimer’s walk in Tupelo 10 years ago when 15 walkers raised $1,500.