Bismarck-Mandan Community Shows Strength in Walk to End Alzheimer’s Event
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The sense of community was unmistakable on Saturday, September 9, in Bismarck-Mandan as residents united for a powerful cause: the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The event, held annually across over 600 communities in the U.S., made its resounding mark locally, adding to the collective fight against Alzheimer’s disease. I connected with Emily Bultema, Senior Development Manager at the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter, to discuss the event’s turnout, impact, future aspirations, and more.
This year, the Bismarck-Mandan event saw a fantastic turnout with approximately 400 participants. Even more impressively, our community surpassed its fundraising target, totaling an estimated $75,000 in donations. These funds will go a long way in supporting 24/7 care, groundbreaking research, and invaluable support services for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.
While participation in the event is free, the encouragement to fundraise has a purpose. The money raised goes directly toward the Alzheimer’s Association, which provides critical services such as 24/7 care and support. Additionally, the funds aid research efforts focused on understanding Alzheimer’s better, as well as developing prevention methods treatments, and hopefully, an eventual cure.
This event stands out in the way it invites participation from all quarters. Whether you’re a caregiver, a friend, or a family member affected by Alzheimer’s, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s serves as a communal space for shared experience and collective action. From local businesses to schools and various organizations, it’s truly a team effort, which explains how our community managed to raise such an astonishing amount.
While the statistics and the funds raised are essential markers of success, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is much more than just numbers. It’s about real people coming together to make a difference. It’s about those who have been affected directly or indirectly by Alzheimer’s disease, sharing stories, walking in memory or honor of a loved one, and lending emotional and financial support to an urgent cause.
The astounding success of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Bismarck-Mandan is a testimony to what we can accomplish when we join forces for a noble cause. While these events are a vital part of raising awareness and funds, the fight against Alzheimer’s is a 365-day-a-year endeavor. We must continue to support research, care, and advocacy to truly put an end to this disease that impacts so many lives. Each step taken symbolizes a step closer to a future without Alzheimer’s—a future that seems more attainable with each year’s walk.
The funds raised offer a tangible means to support both those suffering from Alzheimer’s and the research necessary to one day end this disease. As business owners, community leaders, and residents, it’s an uplifting reminder of the power of local action. Here’s looking forward to next year’s event, as we continue walking towards a cure, hand in hand.
Did You Know?
Alzheimer’s is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who in 1906 noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness.
A Q&A with Emily Bultema
Q: In your eyes, how has the Walk grown over the years, compared to the first Walk?
A: The Walk has been taking place for over 15 years. Over the years more companies have gotten involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s along with family/friend teams. Alzheimer’s disease affects the whole family and many caregivers are still employed. Companies are supporting caregivers’ needs and getting involved in the fight too.
Q: What are the future goals regarding the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in upcoming years?
A: Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. We are getting closer to seeing this day as there are currently FDA-approved treatments for Alzheimer’s that slow the progression. We will continue to raise funds to provide no-cost care and support to those who need our support. Our Walk is our largest fundraiser and also helps to continue to advance our research efforts.
This is a huge first step in the advancement of treatments, and we are hopeful that new treatments will eventually help individuals in all stages of an Alzheimer’s journey. Early detection and diagnosis are important so that people can access new treatments such as Leqembi. Once individuals are diagnosed they can get resources and be more prepared as the disease continues to advance. We look forward to a time when we can end Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Q: Tell me a bit about the positive impact that you’ve seen the Walk to End Alzheimer’s bring to the Bismarck-Mandan community.
A: The Walk is such a hopeful event in our community that brings people together and helps them realize they are not alone in this journey. It introduces families to one another, people learn about the services that we offer and it allows them to unite for the same cause.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association® is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers and individuals interested in research, the Association includes our home office in Chicago, a public policy office in Washington, D.C., and a presence in communities across the country.
An estimated 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia. In the United States alone, more than 6 million have Alzheimer’s, and over 11 million are providing unpaid care. The Association addresses this crisis by providing education and support to the millions who face dementia every day, while advancing critical research toward methods of treatment, prevention, and, ultimately, a cure.
Facts About Alzheimer’s
According to the Alzheimer’s Association:
- More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
- In 2023, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $345 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise to nearly $1 trillion.
- Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from heart disease have decreased 7.3% while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased 145%.
- While only 4 in 10 Americans talk to their doctor right away when experiencing early memory or cognitive loss, 7 in 10 would want to know early if they have Alzheimer’s disease if it could allow for earlier treatment.
Your Dollars At Work
Every dollar you raise benefits those affected by Alzheimer’s disease in your community. The Alzheimer’s Association is a global organization, working to advance care, support, and research across the world. From face-to-face support to online education programs and promising worldwide research initiatives, the money you raise makes a difference in the lives of those facing Alzheimer’s.
Use of Funds:
- 79% Alzheimer’s care, support, research, awareness, and advocacy
- 17% Fundraising
- 4% Administrative
If you missed this year’s walk but would still like to contribute, it’s not too late to make a donation. Together, let’s keep making strides in this long journey to end Alzheimer’s. For additional information, feel free to visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.