To the Editor,
Block Island resident Sandra Kelly will participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, September 19 on Block Island. Sandra and her husband, who formed the team “Kelly’s Brigade,” were moved to raise critical funds and awareness after witnessing firsthand how Alzheimer’s has impacted their close friends who are currently dealing with the disease.
“We could see how devastating and how difficult it is for one spouse or the other. We just are committed to, hopefully sometime in the near future, helping find a cure so that family and friends don’t have to go through this terrible illness,” she said.
In her commitment to raising awareness, Kelly has worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter to help increase local resources, while also overseeing a caregiver support group on Block Island. This will mark her third year participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, something she hopes will also help to educate others.
“Knowledge is power. A lot of people don’t realize how much help there is out there. The more knowledge we have out there, the more walkers we have out there to make this known. I’m just committed to getting the word out there,” said Kelly.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. In Rhode Island alone, there are more than 24,000 living with Alzheimer’s and more than 38,000 family members and friends caring for them.
“We cannot be more thankful for our participants whose dedication helps us lead the fight to end Alzheimer’s,” said Donna McGowan, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter. “With the funds raised, the Alzheimer’s Association is able to continue providing much-needed education, care and support services to local families affected by this devastating disease, as well as fund critically-needed Alzheimer’s research.”
While plans are moving forward to host this year’s Walk in person, the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers remain the top priorities. The Block Island Walk will implement safety protocols including physical distancing, masks (where required), contactless registration, hand sanitizing stations and more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local guidelines will be adhered to ensure Walk events are safe for attendees.
For information, to volunteer or participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, call 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org/ri/walk.