Walk to End Alzheimer’s

“Try to remember.”

These are the words uttered by hundreds of people whose families are being affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This is a disease that is most prominent in the elderly and causes loss of memory and other intellectual abilities. It often becomes very serious as Alzheimer’s patients will not remember the simple things of everyday life. They may not even remember the names of people in their own family. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, at least, not yet. But many people, including Canyon Vista’s own librarian, Mrs. Stiles, are determined to change that.

Some of Mrs. Stiles' team members were her husband Craig Stiles, Charlie Maddox, former CVMS staff members Kirsten Mulligan and Ronda Murray, 8th grader Emma S., 8th grader Alex H., and 8th grader Muskan U. Photo by Linda Maddox
Some of Mrs. Stiles’ team members were her husband Craig Stiles, Charlie Maddox, former CVMS staff members Kirsten Mulligan and Ronda Murray, 8th grader Emma S., 8th grader Alex H., and 8th grader Muskan U. Photo by Linda Maddox

This year, Stiles participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This program raises awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research. It also helps to provide care for people with the disease. The walk was held here in Austin on October 19th. Stiles formed a team that consisted of other CVMS staff members Ms. Henwood, Mrs. Maddox, and the former 7th grade Language Arts teacher Mrs. Mayson. Together with the rest of their team, they raised $2175!

For Stiles, this is personal. “My mother has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed with it about five years ago. Our family is really struggling with Alzheimer’s right now, and I think there is less of a focus on it than other diseases, so I wanted to help out in some way,” said Stiles.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, our school library is a great place to go. In fact, Stiles recommends one of this year’s Lone Star books, “Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip” by Jordan Sonnenblick because although this book is realistic fiction, much of the story involves Alzheimer’s disease. There are also several non-fiction books available.

Stiles feels that the key to helping stop the impact of Alzheimer’s on the increasing number of elderly citizens is to donate to research. “I don’t think many of us realize the devastating effects of the disease until we witness it firsthand. As more people are diagnosed with it, more of us will struggle with finding care for our loved ones and preserving their memories for the future.  I hope that more networks of information and care will be created.”

There are many great organizations that would love your help to get one step closer to finding a cure. Go to www.alz.org to see how you can contribute.

This was Stiles’ first year doing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and she really enjoyed the experience, stating that it was very fun coming together and participating in the event. “My favorite part was meeting so many people that have also had family members affected by the disease. It makes me feel like I’m not alone.”

And we’re here for you too, Mrs. Stiles.