PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s took place at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday morning. Among the thousands of participants were those who struggled while caring for their loved ones diagnosed with the disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter hopes to bring in nearly $1.5 million for a fight that’s become personal for far too many at the ballpark. More than five million people in the United States have the disease according to the association.
“We walk for the memory of my dad,” said Joyce Humphrey of West Chester.
“We’re walking for our cousin Cookie. There’s 95 of us on the team today,”Jason from Dover, Delaware said.
Celiness Espinosa helps her grandmother Emerita: “Everyone is basically rotating. We’re helping to try to feed her. Give her her medications. Just to be there for her – just for the mental therapy. And just be there as a family.”
Marie from the Northeast shared a story about breaking her foot after chasing her mother who ran out of the house. “It was taking a toll on me,” she said.
Despite the heartache she did what she had to do, caring for the woman who cared for her and having patience. “Because they do not know anything they are putting you through.”
Those who really feel the hit are the caregivers who struggle every day with their loved ones like Gina McMahon, part of Team Stand By Me.
“I had to pick my grandmother up from senior daycare and I remembered when she used to pick me up from daycare,” McMahon said.
By Gina’s side was her mother Marie who hopes one day others won’t have to go through what they did.
“You lose a person twice when a person has Alzheimer’s. It’s absolutely true because you lose them through the disease and you lose them when they pass away.”