Bill Glass of Chicago walked through Richmond on Friday, on his way to Atlanta.
That’s a long way to walk, but Glass thinks the trek is worth it, especially if he can raise $10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and talk to people about the disease along the way.
Glass decided to take the hike on behalf of his mother who suffers from the disease that robs victims of their memory. He’s calling the trip “Flowers for Mom.”
Glass said he was pleased to learn that his walk through Madison County was just one week prior to the Bluegrass Regional Walk to End Alzheimer’s that will take place Saturday morning in Berea and he hopes his visit will help promote it.
“Not everybody can walk as far as I’m going,” Glass said, “but I hope as many people as possible will join the Bluegrass Walk.”
The local walk will start 10 a.m. Saturday at the Berea Community School, said Amber Lakin, one of the organizers. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
For more details, call Lakin at 859-266-5283 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for the walk can be completed online at www.alz.org/walk.
Glass said he has been encouraged by the response of people he’s met along the way. Richmond was about the mid point of his 75-mile journey.
“It never ceases to amaze me how nice people can be,” he said.
As he passed Richmond’s Red Roof Inn on Thursday, Glass said he went in the lobby and asked if he could rest and charge his cell phone. After the manager heard what he was doing, he turned to a clerk and told him to give Glass a room, for free.
He normally stays in campgrounds and planned to spend Friday night at Berea’s Oh! Kentucky Campground.
Nearly everyone he’s talked to along the way knows someone, and is often related to someone, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, Glass said.
Because of research and early treatment, incident and death rates for many diseases are falling, but rates for Alzheimer’s are rising rapidly.
Breast cancer is down by 2 percent, prostate cancer is down 8 percent, heart disease is down 16 percent, stroke is down 23 percent and HIV infection is down 42 percent.
But, Alzheimer’s disease is up 68 percent, according to the Alzheimer’s Association website.
Even research that could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or slow its process would be a blessing to individuals and their families and a boost to the U.S. economy, Glass said.
Alzheimer’s Disease costs the nation about $206 billion a year, he said.
Bill Robinson can be reached at email@example.com or at 624-6690.