“This is the season where we walk to end Alzheimer’s,” says Jeanne Sparrow, an on-air personality with V103/WVAZ Chicago.
More than just a fixture in local media, Jeanne participates in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s for personal reasons, as she supported her father, Allen Sparrow, through his dementia journey.
“I took care of him during the four years that he had a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, and it was not easy,” she shares. “But it was my honor to do so — to be there for him in his last years as he needed me.”
Jeanne joins individuals across Chicagoland at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to get closer to a world without Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, with over 230,000 people facing the disease in Illinois alone.
“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during Covid-19 and neither are we,” said Mary DeMars, director of the Chicago Walk. “We must continue the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is moving forward with plans to host the event in person with the health and safety of participants, volunteers and staff remaining the top priorities. The organizers are implementing safety protocols at all events, including physical distancing, masks (where required), contactless registration and hand sanitizing stations. A walk-from-home experience also is available — including virtual reality experiences — for those who prefer to walk in their own neighborhoods.
How You Can Help
Register for Walk to End Alzheimer’s and start a team of friends and family to make a bigger impact. All funds raised through the walk go directly to the care and support of those affected by Alzheimer’s, as well as research to hopefully find the first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease.
Better Media Group is leading the fight to end Alzheimer’s by generously offering to match every gift, up to a total of $10,000, raised by participants in the Chicago, Lake County and North Shore Walk To End Alzheimer’s events between Sept. 20-25.
“What I really pray for is that no one has to go through this,” shared Jeanne. “Because life should be better at the end of our lives.”
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. For more information, visit alz.org or call (800) 272-3900.