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Brotherly Love: Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A West Philadelphia woman is helping others despite her own physical concerns. Her name is Eleanore Johnson, and for more than 20 years, she and her family have been major supporters of the Alzheimer’s Association of Delaware Valley. And despite now having MS, Eleanore’s not about to slow down.

Johnson says this union started when her father Frank was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1985.

“They noticed on the job,” said Eleanore. “Things that used to take him no time all of a sudden became a chore.”

Ten years after he was diagnosed, Frank Johnson died.

“It was sad; it was really sad,” said Eleanore.

But the Johnsons turned that sadness into action, creating an Alzheimer’s support group at their church and participating in one of the first Alzheimer’s walks in the Delaware Valley.

“We just kept it going,” said Eleanore. “To this day, we still have a lot of people.”

And they have raised a lot of money for the Alzheimer’s Association–close to $100,000.

“They’ve been remarkable for us,” said Wendy Campbell, the chapter’s president and CEO. “When she says she truly wants to end this disease and she wants to care for people the right way right now, she means it,” said Campbell.

Several years ago, Eleanore was diagnosed with MS, a neurological disease that has her confined to a wheelchair. But she says there’s no way MS is going to stop her from participating in this year’s walk.

“No way!” Eleanore said. “I have a motorized scooter, I get in my scooter and go and do what needs to be done. I don’t let it stop me.”

Just recently, one of Eleanore’s brothers has started showing signs of early onset dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s.

If you would like to help Eleanore and the Alzheimer’s Association in the fight against this disease, they have their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday morning, September 10.

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

Reported by Dave Huddleston, CBS 3

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