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The 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s goes virtual

They walk to remember and honor loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. They walk to bring recognition to a battle that will only end when they find the “first survivor,” that person for whom there is treatment that stops Alzheimer’s in its tracks. And they walk to say thank you to the thousands of people who have walked along them on their journey. 

Yvette Burke and Crystale Strange
Yvette Burke (front) with her sister, Crystale Strange

For Yvette Burke, co-chair of the 2020 St. Louis Walk to End Alzheimer’s, those thousands of people include the friends and colleagues who pointed her to the Alzheimer’s Association’s website (alz.org) after her mom’s diagnosis and a move to St. Louis five years ago, those who joined her as walkers and fundraisers in her very first walk and everyone since, and all of the walkers and contributors who make the resources of the Alzheimer’s Association possible. 

“My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 12 years ago and she’s currently in mid-stage so when I moved to St. Louis for my promotion with Enterprise Holdings as vice presidents of sales, I needed to figure out how to manage my mother’s care long distance. I have two sisters who care for my mother at home (but) I needed to know how to become an appropriate and effective caregiver long distance,” Burke explained. “I reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association and I got a wonderful volunteer on the 800-number (24/7 Helpline: 1-.800-272-3900) who started giving me some advice.”

As fate would have it, Burke’s boss in St. Louis also had a relationship with the Alzheimer’s Association. “So she introduced me to Stacy Tew-Lovasz (president of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter). She said, ‘Perhaps Stacy and the team can help you.’” 

Burke said the team in St. Louis and the resources at alz.org gave her direction.“And that is why I walk,” she said. 

Her team Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Angels for Alzheimer’s began small but has grown exponentially over the past five years. Part of that growth is, in part, because of the company’s emphasis on community. So far this year, the team has raised more than $21,000 toward a goal of $25,000. Walkers and donors are welcome to join. 

Setting up a team or donating to an existing one is as easy as visiting the walk website, simply search “2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – St. Louis” on alz.org.

The walk will look a little different this year due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead of every team gathering together in one central location, teams and individuals will walk independently on Saturday, Oct. 24 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

“On Oct. 24, an opening ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – all delivered to participants’ smartphones, tablets and computers,” Tew-Lovasz explained. 

To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on Oct. 24, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app (available in Google Play and Apple’s App Store) to create an opportunity for the community to connect. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage’’ to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the Association and Walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease. 

“One of the advantages of a virtual walk is that if Oct. 24 does not work for an individual or team, they can still put on their walk shirt and walk at a time and place that is convenient,” Burke said. 

2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – St. Louis 
Saturday, Oct. 24
Sign up at alz.org
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