This is part four of a four-part series.
The 2019 Oahu Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Nov. 9 at Magic Island. It is free to participate. Click here to register for the event.
The money from the walk will go towards research to hopefully someday find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
At the event, participants will have the opportunity to select a flower that represents their experience with the disease.
There are four flowers, each one is a different color.
Blue represents someone who currently has Alzheimer’s. Yellow is for caretakers. Orange is for anyone who supports the cause. Purple represents someone who has lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s disease.
“To be able to see the probably 1,500 people there holding flowers, all of those different colors, all of them affected, is very moving,” said Steve Tam, the Director of Development for the Alzheimer’s Association on Oahu.
ToriAnn Abe and her mother Susan Abe will be holding purple flowers. Their grandfather/father passed away in June 2019.
“Seeing him as a different person all together it’s hard. It’s really really difficult and you think how you’re going to get through it. You think it’s never going to end and it doesn’t get any better, it gets worse,” Abe said about the disease.
ToriAnn Abe’s grandfather passed away two days before a fundraiser she put together to benefit finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
“On the day of the event he was really my motivation to keep going and to put on something for people who are struggling like him and people who continue to struggle every day,” ToriAnn Abe said.
The Abe’s want to raise awareness and let other families know that they are not alone.
Douglas Bassett is a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association on Oahu. He said people will be able to meet other families at the walk who are going through the same experiences with the disease.
“I think there’s a lot of people out here that don’t understand that there are other families going through similar instances, and this is a way for everyone to get together and have a conversation if they’ve never had it before.”