This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Columbia moves to sidewalks and trails

Updated: Oct. 25, 2020 at 12:37 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Missy Callahan wished she was at Segra Park Saturday.

Instead, she was walking in her Red Bank community to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. “Everybody is still walking in their communities. It’s just important that COVID didn’t stop the walk to end Alzheimer’s,” Callahan said.

The Alzheimer’s Association South Carolina Chapter normally would’ve had their Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Segra Park. But because of the pandemic they had to do things a little differently.

The event is their largest fundraiser of the year. Vice President of Communications and Advocacy Beth Sulkowski said the pandemic has hit people with dementia and Alzheimer’s hard across the country so raising money for care, is important right now.

She said, “It means so much to see members of our community making their own plans, doing the walk on their own, raising funds.”

Teams raised more than $100,000 as of Saturday evening.

Callahan’s team raised more than $2,700. She said this is personal for her. “Once you hear the words dementia and Alzheimer’s at 45 years old it’s a punch in the gut.”

The 47-year-old was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s two years ago. She said it was tough but thanks to her support system and the Alzheimer’s Association she’s learned to live with her diagnosis.

But it changed everything about her life. “I know it was placed on me because I can handle it,” she said.

Callahan fights fatigue and some forgetfulness every day but said she won’t stop walking for a cure. “I want to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and people to understand what early intervention is.”

According to the state chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 95,000 South Carolinians living with Alzheimer’s.

For more information on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s click here.

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