Laurette Samson doesn’t live alone anymore.
She relocated to Fayetteville to live with one of her daughters after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She said it was tough for her to leave her friends, but the challenges of the disease were more difficult.
“Since my diagnosis, I have learned that I need to have somebody, like my family, that I trust to support and remind me of the things I am unable to remember,” Samson told the 1,500 participants of Sunday’s Walk To End Alzheimer’s–Syracuse, NY at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena. “I find myself forgetting things I need to do, like activities and events. I now have to spend more time keeping track of appointments and important papers.
“When I say I can’t remember, I need support and compassion. Being patient with someone with Alzheimer’s disease is very important,” Samson said.
Now living in Fayetteville, Samson has learned to cope with the disease. She got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, taking part in social programs and support groups tailored to people living with the disease.
“Not only do I have Alzheimer’s disease,” she said, “but I am also an advocate for those living with this disease, so that I can be a part of the effort to finally end Alzheimer’s. I am even currently participating in a clinical trial for research on Alzheimer’s disease.”
Casey Baker turned his own Alzheimer’s journey into action. Baker, a Skaneateles resident, has participated in Walk To End Alzheimer’s for nearly a decade. After years of walking in honor of his mother, he walked for the first time in her memory. Rita Baker died in November 2018 at age 70, after a 15-year battle with the disease. Baker was the leading individual fundraiser for the 2019 Walk To End Alzheimer’s, raising $4,515.
The 29th annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s raised $215,700 to support Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs provided locally by the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. Chapter CEO Catherine James was grateful for community’s efforts.
“The community’s support for our cause inspires us to never give up in our fight to end this devastating disease,” said Catherine James, Chief Executive Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter. “Today’s event was a testament to their steadfast support and the hard work of our volunteer planning committee.”
Fundraising for Walk To End Alzheimer’s continues through December 31. Loretto had the largest team at the event with 109 walkers and raised nearly $11,500. The Syracuse-based healthcare organization was also the local presenting sponsor for the event.
The 2020 Walk To End Alzheimer’s will take place on September 27 at Onondaga Community College.